How to cook Barlotto, a.k.a. Barley Risotto

Risotto comes from an Italian word, meaning ‘rice’, referring to a rice dish. So, Barlotto is another way of naming barley, cooked using a risotto cooking method. But it also is one of the culinary methods, used for rice cooking, when rice is first toasted, and then little amounts of hot liquid are added little by little, while vigorously stirring and waiting for it evaporate.

Barley, as we know, is usually cooked using a Pilaf culinary technique of rice cooking… In Barlotto dish, however, it turns out just perfect when cooked with a risotto method and, in my opinion, even more flavourful and interesting than a classical risotto.

The recipe of Barlotto that I share with you here is not only seriously delicious, but also sustainable (if you live in the region like me, where barley is much more common than Arborio rice) and vegan. As in many classical Italian recipes for risotto, I do not use butter and parmesan in mine, instead I am using frozen olive oil cubes and nutritional yeast (totally optional).

Check out the video below to watch the full cooking process.

[siteorigin_widget class=”WP_Widget_Media_Video”][/siteorigin_widget]

Preparation time: n/a

Cooking time: 30 min

Per servings: 2 servings


  • 300 g Pearl Barley
  • 1 L Vegetable stock
  • 2 Flozen olive oil cubes (infused with garlic and with pc of mushroom & onions)
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp Ground black pepper
  • 50 ml Dry white wine

Equipment & tools:

  • Frying pan
  • Medium stock pot


  1. Bring the vegetable stock to simmer in a stock pot.
  2. Melt 1 olive oil cube.
  3. Add the pearl barley to a pan and toast a bit, so it feels warm to a toutch.
  4. Add white wine and reduce, until all the alcohol evaporates.
  5. Add a ladle of vegetable stock, so it only covers the grains. Wait until it evaporates, while continuously stiring.
  6. Repeat #6 until the barley is just al dente (don’t forget to add salt).
  7. Take the pan off the heat. Add the 2nd frozen olive oil cube, nutritional yeast and pepper, and stir vigorously until all the oil completely melted.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!
[siteorigin_widget class=”WP_Widget_Media_Image”][/siteorigin_widget]

For you consideration, try out this Barlotto with Shiitake mushroom crackers.

You can also see more of my video recipes HERE.