Roasted Tomato & Garlic Pearl Barley Risotto

Sorry about missing a day of VeganMoFo yesterday – I had a recipe planned but it didn’t turn out the way I wanted and so I didn’t want to post it! I’m back today now though, with a recipe that definitely did work well and I enjoyed making and eating!

Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is to use “unconventional grains” – grains that we don’t use very often. I chose pearl barley, although it’s not particularly unusual – and it’s certainly cheaper than a lot of unusual grains – it’s not one I seem to use very often. I don’t know why, because it’s delicious!


The great thing about making a risotto with pearl barley is that you don’t have to stir it as much as a regular risotto. You still stir, but then you go and sit down for a little bit before stirring again. It’s nice! Pearl barley also has a lovely hearty texture which is just great for wintery months.

The garlic and tomatoes in this recipe are roasted in the oven first – I find that in winter, it’s great to roast tomatoes, because it brings out the flavour that they lose a little due to not having as much sun. Try not to eat all the roasted tomatoes straight out of the oven though – tasty as they are…

Roasted Tomato & Garlic Pearl Barley Risotto


  • 500g baby plum tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp salt
  • several grinds black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 250g pearl barley
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • handful fresh basil, chopped


    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
  1. Toss the tomatoes and garlic with the salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil and arrange on a baking tray.
  2. Place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then set aside.
  3. Once your tomatoes are roasted, begin on the risotto. Fry the onion in the remaining olive oil in a large pan until softened.
  4. Add the roasted tomatoes and tomato puree and stir.
  5. Stir through the pearl barley and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.
  6. Simmer, stirring regularly, for 40 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the pearl barley is tender.
  7. Finally, stir through the basil. Taste and adjust seasoning, and serve!


3 thoughts on “Roasted Tomato & Garlic Pearl Barley Risotto

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