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Creamy Barley Risotto with Asparagus & Sea Scallops

Creamy Barley Risotto with Asparagus & Sea Scallops

Inspired by Seize a Plate

Creamy Barley Risotto with Asparagus, Sweet Peppers, Onions, Garlic & Sea Scallops with recent herbs in an excellent creamy sherry sauce ~ the sense of umami in a wholesome dish that gives satisfaction on so many ranges. Riced cauliflower also steps in to boost the barley for an excellent heart healthy, low carb, low calorie meal that leaves both your body and taste buds feeling unimaginable. You’re going to LOVE this healthier risotto recipe.

I just lately noticed a barley risotto recipe from Seize a Plate that acquired me interested by risotto and remembering how very a lot I am keen on it. I’ve beloved risotto ever since I first tasted it. Risotto has a tremendous creaminess to it, a velvety texture that other dishes may TRY to duplicate, but they only can’t.

What is the distinction between risotto and rice?

Risotto is made with rice, however it’s cooked in another way than rice. Risotto is often made with a particular sort of rice referred to as arborio rice, which is excessive in starch, so when cooked, it releases starch into the liquid, making a pleasant creamy sauce (with none cream). I’ve made risotto with basmati rice (as a result of I like the flavour better) and brown rice (which is larger in fiber), so you’ll be able to change up the rice selection you employ and still find yourself with a stunning creamy sauce.

What makes risotto so creamy?

The particular technique of cooking risotto is to first toast the rice in the pan, then slowly add liquid, stirring between additions to help launch additional starch from the rice. It’s the starch from the rice that releases into the liquid as you stir that makes the sauce so creamy.

Why barley?

Barley is excessive in fiber (hulled barley has over 30 g of fiber per cup!), which aids in digestion and in addition helps reduce persistent illnesses like cardiovascular disease, helps decrease cholesterol, helps stability your gut bacteria, lowers blood sugar ranges, helps you are feeling fuller and may assist in weight loss. Barley also incorporates essential minerals together with magnesium, manganese and selenium. (Supply: Medical News In the present day)

Is barley better for you than rice?

Compared to white rice, barley is certainly the winner due to fiber, which white rice lacks.

Nevertheless, brown rice is an entire grain so it accommodates all elements of the grain — together with the fibrous bran, the nutritious germ and the carb-rich endosperm. White rice, then again, has had the bran and germ eliminated, that are probably the most nutritious elements of the grain, so it’s stripped of a lot of its nutrients. (Supply: Healthline)

Is brown rice or barley a more sensible choice? It depends.

In case you’re on a gluten-free weight loss plan, brown rice wins, because barley accommodates gluten. Nevertheless, barley has twice the calcium and fiber and about 30% fewer calories. Brown rice and barley are roughly equal in protein and fat content. So, finally I have to say, both brown rice and barley are healthy decisions and it is dependent upon your priorities as to which one you choose/want. (Source:

Is Barley Risotto genuine?

I did some research and found that in Italy, there is a dish referred to as Orzotto (which I’ve additionally seen spelled Orzetto), which is risotto made with barley as an alternative of the normal arborio rice, no less than that’s, based on Wikipedia. I might assume that Orzotto can be risotto made with orzo as an alternative of rice, however hey, I’m an American. I’ve visited Italy, nevertheless it was so long ago and I was so younger then and very clueless about cuisine, so if there are any Italians out there who know what Orzotto really is (vs. Orzetto), I might like it for those who would remark and share your ideas on this publish.

Creamy Barley Risotto with Asparagus & Sea Scallops ~ the sense of umami and ultimate satisfaction in a healthy dish that will leave you satisfied in so many dimensions

What’s barley?

Barley or Hordeum vulgare is a grass that grows very similar to wheat. The barley grass produces a nutritious entire grain that boasts plenty of fiber and protein. Barley has been around because the stone age and it’s said to be one of the prime 5 grains on the planet. Barley is usually used for making beer and feeding livestock, nevertheless it’s also scrumptious as food for us people. (Source: Delishably)

Are there totally different kinds of barley?

There are numerous totally different sorts of barley and the way nutritious it’s is determined by what kind of barley you select. Right here in the US, you possibly can boil it down to two forms of barley: hulled barley and pearl barley. Hulled barley is barley that has had its outer arduous hull removed, but solely the outermost hull has been removed. Chewy and wealthy in fiber, it’s the healthiest sort of barley. Pearl barley however continues to be chewy and nutritious, but much less so than hulled barley as a result of the outer husk and bran layers have been removed.  The polished grains are also softer and take much less time to prepare dinner. (Supply: The Kitchn) Pearl barley is probably the most generally used barley for risotto as a result of pearl barley releases more starch into the liquid.

Which type did I exploit in my recipe? I bought my barley in bulk at our local coop, so I truly had to call them to seek out out. I was relieved to discover it was hulled barley, which is the higher fiber/larger vitamin version of barley. Exactly what I needed!

What sort of barley ought to I exploit on this dish?

It is determined by what you want. Hulled barley will present more health advantages, but pearl barley will prepare dinner quicker and can add extra starch to the sauce. So in the event you’re after the health issue, go for the hulled barley. (It is going to nonetheless taste great!) But if you’d like additional creaminess and also you’re prepared to sacrifice on health benefits, go ahead and use pearl barley.

Do I’ve to make use of the fish sauce?

Technically no, but should you skip out on the fish sauce, you’re lacking a key level of this recipe. I extremely advocate the fish sauce as a result of it provides the dish that sense of umami, the flavour bomb you possibly can’t fairly describe nevertheless it’s simply so freaking delicious. When you miss out on the fish sauce, you’ll miss out on one of many foremost elements that contribute the umami in this dish.

What is umami?

It’s a fifth flavor dimension that people have all the time had, but haven’t all the time recognized about and may’t actually quite describe that properly. It’s that sense you’ll be able to’t fairly put your finger on … that “oh man, this is delicious, but I can’t really tell you why” feeling. Umami was discovered by Japanese chemist and food lover Kikunae Ikeda who discovered that when foods age, like cheese, or when meat begins to prepare dinner underneath the warmth of an open flame, the proteins inside bear a molecular change. In this process, the proteins break aside into numerous models, certainly one of which is a molecule referred to as L-glutamate — the molecule answerable for umami. Just like the opposite 4 primary tastes, umami happens when L-glutamate binds to specific receptors on your tongue, inflicting a sequence reaction of chemical processes that tells your style buds they are supremely completely satisfied. (Source: Meals Republic)

Can I substitute for the sea scallops?

Yes, you CAN substitute for the ocean scallops. I truly may need opted for shrimp, if I had any available. Hen or turkey would even be good. You possibly can even miss the scallops to make it a vegetarian meal.

Can I omit the cheese?

The stirring of the risotto provides the dish a nice creaminess, so I might say yes, you CAN omit the cheese in case you are avoiding dairy, but the little little bit of cheese on this dish also adds a bit of additional umami that makes this wholesome risotto dish such a sensory pleasure. In the event you really should miss the cheese, I might advocate including a little bit of cashew cream or vegan cheese.

Can I make this dish vegan?

Sure, you possibly can. Simply use olive oil instead of the butter, substitute cashew cream or vegan cheese for the cheeses and skip the scallops and fish sauce when you don’t do seafood. In case you averse to fish sauce, I like to recommend using vegan broth instead of the water, for additional taste, since you’re missing out on the umami from the fish sauce.

Can this dish be gluten free?

Not when you use barley. I feel you would substitute brown rice for the barley to make it gluten free. I’ve made brown rice risotto earlier than and even found a baked technique for brown rice risotto that turned out SO good (with a lot much less stirring!), so I’d recommend ranging from a type of recipes if you’d like a gluten free risotto.

Creamy Asparagus Barley Risotto with Sea Scallops

Creamy Asparagus Barley Risotto with Sea Scallops


  • half Tablespoon grass fed butter
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 – 4 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • About three cups scorching water
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice
  • half cup chopped bell pepper or mini sweet peppers
  • 1 half – 2 cups chopped asparagus
  • 1 lb. sea scallops (recent or frozen)
  • 2.5 – three oz. Greek cream cheese
  • 1 oz. finely shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons recent chopped herbs (rosemary, dill, basil, tarragon and/or chives)


  1. Warmth a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter and oil. When the butter is melted, stir in the barley and prepare dinner, stirring incessantly, until frivolously browned and fragrant. Add the onion and garlic and prepare dinner for a number of more minutes, stirring incessantly, till the onion is smooth and translucent.
  2. Stir within the sherry and prepare dinner, stirring continually, until the liquid in the pan is gone. Add the fish sauce and 1/4 cup water and prepare dinner longer, stirring until the liquid is gone. Continue adding water, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is gone before adding more water. Continue for about 25 – 30 extra minutes.
  3. At this point, it’s time so that you can take a break and let the barley prepare dinner itself. Add another half cup of water, scale back warmth to medium low, cowl and let prepare dinner for about 10 – 20 minutes or until the barley is chewy and tender. Examine back a couple of occasions during cooking to ensure there’s still liquid in the pan. If the barley has absorbed it all, add extra liquid.
  4. Once the barley is completed, stir within the cauliflower rice and peppers, cowl and prepare dinner for an additional 5 minutes or until the cauliflower rice and peppers are crisp tender.
  5. Stir in the asparagus and prepare dinner for a couple extra minutes until the asparagus is crisp tender, then add the scallops, cheeses and herbs. Stir to incorporate the cheese, smashing the cream cheese with your spatula a number of occasions to get it absolutely included. As quickly because the scallops are completed, take away from heat. Style, season with salt & freshly floor pepper as wanted and serve!



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Creamy Barley Risotto with Asparagus & Sea Scallops ~ the sense of umami and ultimate satisfaction in a healthy dish that will leave you satisfied in so many dimensions

On the lookout for extra risotto recipes?

Listed here are a number of of my other risotto recipes:

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