Barley makes for a heartier and nutrient-rich take on the classic risotto made with Arborio rice. You can add well-cooked chicken if you like, or for a vegetarian version, try cannellini beans or tofu.
- Thoroughly rinse fresh produce under warm running water for 20 seconds. Scrub to remove excess dirt.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. Add shallot and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add barley and stir well to combine so each kernel is coated.
- Increase heat to medium high and toast barley, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons stock and stir. Continue to add stock, ¼ cup at a time, while continuing to stir, allowing stock to absorb into barley. Continue adding stock until barley is tender, about 30 minutes.
- While barley is cooking, heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a small pan. Add butternut squash and salt and cook over low heat until tender and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- When barley is tender and most of the stock has been absorbed, add cooked butternut squash and stir well to combine. Add feta, if desired.
- To serve, risotto should register 145 degrees Fahrenheit or higher on an instant-read thermometer placed in the middle of the dish. Refrigerate risotto within one hour of cooking and eat any leftovers within 48 hours.
Nutrition information does not include the addition of feta cheese.