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06 May, 2024

Green Barley Risotto

This is a great transitional dish when you're not quite sure whether you’ll be needing a warming bowl of soup or a fresh salad. This brown rice risotto is perfectly fresh but deliciously comforting at the same time. You can also make this with pearl barley which adds a lovely chewy texture to the dish.


Serves 2-3


  • 1 tbsp butter / olivio
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g spinach
  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp Maldon salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 120g Short Grain Brown Rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, diced


    1. In a saucepan, melt a little butter and olive oil over medium (use Olivio if you don't eat dairy). Add in the spinach, leaving a handful aside for later, and a dash of water and saute until it has completely wilted. Set aside to cool. Tip into a nutribullet or food processor and blitz to a smooth bright green liquid. Set this aside.
    2. To make the sunflower parmesan, place the sunflowers in a frying pan and cook on a medium heat, shaking the pan often so that they are evenly cooked, remove from the heat when they are golden brown. Tip them into a food processor along with the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and pulse once or twice to create a similar texture to parmesan, Set aside.
    3. Place the pearl barley in a pan with three times the amount of water, add a good pinch of salt, and bring to the boil. Continue to boil for 20 minutes until the rice is softened but not quite cooked, drain all the liquid, retaining one cup, and set aside.
    4. In a saucepan, heat a little oil and gently cook the garlic and leeks until softened but not browned. Add in the cooked rice, retained rice water and the spinach sauce and simmer together for 5 minutes. Add the remaining spinach, stir through and turn the heat off.
    5. Portion the risotto into bowls and sprinkle over the sunflower parmesan. Season to taste.

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