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Asparagus & lemon pearl barley risotto

Asparagus and lemon pearl barley risotto

Total Time
55 min
15 min
40 min


Vegetable stock

5 cup(s), (1.25L)


250 g

Brown onion

1 medium, finely chopped


2 stick(s), sticks, finely chopped

Fennel seeds

½ tsp


1 clove(s), crushed

Pearl barley

225 g

Lemon juice

2 tbs

Fresh lemon rind

2 tsp, finely grated

Fresh mint

2 tbs, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve

Oil spray

1 x 3 second spray(s)


  1. Bring stock to the boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until required. Slice asparagus diagonally, keeping tips in one piece. Set aside.
  2. Lightly spray a large saucepan with oil and heat over medium heat. Cook onion, celery and fennel seeds, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  3. Add barley and stir to coat. Reduce heat and add 1L (4 cups) of the stock, one ladleful (1/2 cup/125ml) at a time, stirring continuously, until all the liquid has absorbed (this will take about 20 minutes).
  4. Add asparagus stalks and remaining 1 cup (250ml) stock and cook, stirring, for 10-12 minutes, or until barley is tender. Meanwhile place asparagus tips in a medium bowl. Cover with boiling water for 2 minutes or until bright green and just tender. Drain and set aside.
  5. Remove from heat, stir in juice, three-quarters of the rind and chopped mint. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with asparagus tips and remaining rind and mint leaves.