Barley Risotto with Fennel Tell a Friend

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Only quantities of ingredients are changed; recipe Directions below will not reflect those changes.


  • 2 teaspoons - fennel seeds, ground
  • 1 - large or 2 small fennel bulbs, cored and finely diced, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fronds
  • 1 cups - pearl barley, or short-grain brown rice
  • 1 - small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 - large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves - garlic, minced
  • 3 cups - reduced-sodium chicken broth, or "no-chicken" broth
  • 1 cups - water, divided
  • 1/3 cups - dry white wine
  • 2 cups - frozen French-cut green beans
  • 1/2 cups - grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cups - pitted oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons - tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • - freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Directions:

    1. Coat a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine fennel seeds, diced fennel, barley (or rice), carrot, shallot, and garlic in the slow cooker. Add broth, 1 cup water and wine, and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the barley (or rice) is tender, but pleasantly chewy, and the risotto is thick and creamy, 6-8 hours on high or low.

    2. Shortly before serving, cook green beans according to package instructions and drain. Turn off the slow cooker. Stir the green beans, Parmesan, olives, lemon zest, and pepper into the risotto. If it seems dry, heat the remaining 1/2 cup water and stir it into the risotto. Serve sprinkled with the chopped fennel fronds.

    To make ahead:
    Prepare fennel, carrot, shallot, and garlic. Combine broth, ½ cup water, and wine. Refrigerate in separate covered containers for up to 1 day.

    Nutritional facts, per serving: 242 calories; 6 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat, 1 gram monounsaturated); 9 milligrams cholesterol; 36 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams added sugars; 10 grams protein; 8 grams fiber; 474 milligrams sodium; 330 milligrams potassium.

    Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (35% daily value), Selenium (20% daily value), Vitamin C (15% daily value).

    Brief Description

    With the intense licorice flavoring of fennel, this easy side-dish features fiber-rich barley without the traditional babysitting required by risotto. Goes beautifully with a simple piece of grilled or roasted white fish and sauteed kale.

    Main Ingredient:


    Category:  Rice

    Cuisine:  American

    Prep Time: 30 min
    Cook Time: 7 hour(s)


    Use less fennel or omit fennel seeds if you are not fond of the licorice flavor.


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    Posted On:

    October 30, 2014

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