Barley Risotto with Fennel and Olives

Barley Risotto with Fennel and OlivesRecipe
Karry Hosford
Oil-cured olives have a wrinkled appearance and pleasant bitter, rich flavor. Substitute any other olive, if desired. You can also make this risotto with Arborio rice instead of barley. Save the feathery, flowery tips of the fennel bulb to chop and use as a garnish.


4 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories 255
Caloriesfromfat 26 %
Fat 7.5 g
Satfat 3.8 g
Monofat 2.4 g
Polyfat 0.7 g
Protein 12.1 g
Carbohydrate 36.1 g
Fiber 8.2 g
Cholesterol 15 mg
Iron 3.1 mg
Sodium 693 mg
Calcium 192 mg


1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups chopped leek, divided
1 cup finely chopped fennel bulb, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup uncooked pearl barley
1 teaspoon fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup oil-cured olives, pitted and chopped
Chopped fennel fronds (optional)


Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 cup leek, 1/2 cup fennel, and bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add barley, thyme, and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in 2 cups broth, and cook 10 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup leek, 1/2 cup fennel, 1 1/2 cups broth, and wine; cook until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring frequently (about 45 minutes). Stir in the cheese, parsley, and black pepper. Sprinkle with olives; garnish with fennel fronds, if desired.