Pearl barley risotto at Powis

This light, creamy risotto is the perfect springtime dish to whip up for your loved ones. Alternatively, drop into our Courtyard Restaurant where it's available daily from 12noon until 2.30pm.

Main courses
A bowl of pearl barley risotto in a white bowl at Powis Castle, Wales
  • Preparation time 20 minutes (prep. time)
  • Cooking time 40 minutes (cooking time)
  • Serves 4


  • 25g butter
  • 140g onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 250g pearl barley
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • 70g leeks
  • 2 spring onions
  • 115g frozen peas
  • 115g frozen broad beans
  • 40g parmesan
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50g rocket leaves


  1. Heat the butter in a large deep frying pan. Finely chop the onion, garlic and herbs, add to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes over a low heat until just beginning to soften but not colour. Stir in pearl barley to coat in the butter and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Pour in 450ml of the hot stock, increase the heat and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time and topping up with extra stock as needed until the pearl barley is tender.
  3. Pour in the wine and stir well. Drizzle over the cream then sprinkle thinly sliced leeks, finely chopped spring onions and the frozen peas and beans on top. Stir together, cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are hot and just tender and the barley has absorbed most of the liquid.
  4. Grate parmesan, add in half and stir well. Adjust the seasoning to taste and stir in a little boiling water if the risotto is very thick.
  5. Spoon into bowls, top with the rocket and remaining grated parmesan and enjoy!