Barley Risotto with Garlic Spinach and Mascarpone

Barley Risotto with Garlic Spinach and Mascarpone
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6Servings


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 5 ounce bag spinach
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus shavings for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, plus thinly sliced peel for sprinkling


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, garlic and crushed red pepper; cook until the shallot is softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the barley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper; bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the grains are tender but chewy, about 30 minutes.

Stir in the spinach, mascarpone, grated parmigiano-reggiano and grated lemon peel; season with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the thinly sliced lemon peel and shaved parmigiano-reggiano.