Barley Risotto with Mushrooms, Leeks, and Kale

By Marge Perry & David Bonom
Nutty barley makes a great cold weather stand in for Arborio rice in this risotto-like dish. This dish is great for gatherings, and re-heats well.


    • Chopped fresh oregano
    • Chopped fresh parsley
    • chopped kale
    • chopped leeks
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • garlic cloves
    • grated Romano cheese
    • ground black pepper
    • Low-sodium chicken broth
    • Madeira wine
    • pearl barley
    • Salt
    • Shitake Mushrooms
    • white mushrooms


    1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until leeks and mushrooms are very tender, about 5-6 minutes.
    2. Stir in the garlic and oregano and cook 2 minutes.
    3. Pour in the Madeira and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add the kale and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute.
    4. Stir in the barley and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Pour in 3 cups of the broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover, simmer until the barley is almost tender, about 30 minutes.
    5. Add the remaining broth, uncover and simmer until the barley is tender, 12-15 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, cheese, salt and pepper.