Photo of Asparagus & lemon pearl barley risotto by WW

Asparagus & lemon pearl barley risotto

Points® value
Total Time
55 min
15 min
40 min
This simple risotto uses barley instead of rice and showcases the lovely fresh flavour of the asparagus.


Asparagus, raw

250 g, trimmed

Calorie controlled cooking spray

4 spray(s)


1 large, finely chopped

Celery, Raw

2 stick(s), finely chopped


1 clove(s), crushed

Pearl barley, dry

225 g


1 zest(s) of 1

Lemon Juice, Fresh

30 ml

Mint, Fresh

5 sprig(s), finely chopped

Vegetable stock cube

2 cube(s), made up with 1.25 litre hot water

Fennel Seeds

½ teaspoon(s), level


  1. Slice the asparagus diagonally, keeping the tips in one piece. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan misted with cooking spray. Add the onion, celery and fennel seeds, then cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
  3. Stir in the barley. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, then gradually pour in 1 litre of the stock, stirring after each addition, making sure all liquid is absorbed before adding more. This will take about 20 minutes on a low heat.
  4. Add the asparagus with the final 250ml of stock and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the barley is tender.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the juice and most of the lemon zest, along with the chopped mint. Season to taste and serve scattered with the mint leaves and remaining zest.