Berrington pearl barley risotto with springy greens

Spring has sprung. What better way to celebrate than with some delicious dishes that incorporate the seasons fresh flavours? This dish is sure to please all as we include the colours, smells and greens of the season.

Main courses
Some freshly cooked risotto smattered with seasonal herbs
  • Preparation time 20 minutes (prep. time)
  • Cooking time 37-40 minutes (cooking time)
  • Serves 4


  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 140g/5oz onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 250g/9oz pearl barley
  • 1 large carrot, cut into small chunks
  • 1 litre/1¾ pint hot vegetable stock
  • 125ml/4fl oz dry white wine
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • 70g/2½ oz leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 115g/4oz frozen peas
  • 115g/4oz frozen broad beans
  • 40g/1½ oz parmesan, freshly grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly picked chives


1. Heat the butter in a large deep frying pan, add the onion, garlic and chopped herbs and cook on a low heat for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to soften. Then add the pearl barley and the carrots and stir it in so that they are all coated in butter and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

2. Pour in 450ml/¾ pint of the hot stock into the pan, increase the heat and bring to the boil whilst stirring. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Don't forget to stir it from time to time and top it up until the barley and carrot is tender.

3. Pour in the wine and stir well. Drizzle over the cream then sprinkle the leeks, spring onion and frozen peas and beans on top. Stir all of this together, cover and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are just tender and the barley has absorbed most of the liquid. Stir in half the parmesan and stir well. Adjust the seasoning to your liking and stir in a little boiling water if the risotto is thicker than you would like.

4. Spoon into bowls and top with the chopped chives and remaining grated parmesan.