Today’s installment of Tuesday Tastings is brought to us by the fabulous Liz McAvoy — foodie, fashion lover and author of What Dress Code?. Since we’re all about healthy eating and fresh starts this month, we knew we could turn to the lifelong pescatarian for a resolution-friendly recipe that’s also hearty and delicious. From Liz:

Risotto has been my go-to indulgence for as long as I can remember. I make it in various forms, with various proteins, and with a whole assortment of veggies… but in the past, arborio rice has always been my staple. That is, until I tried making barley risotto last year on a whim and it became an absolute favorite. I really love the hearty-meets-healthy nature of this meal. I’m not someone who jumps straight onto the salad bandwagon come January 1 — but filling, nutrient-rich meals like this one are the perfect alternative.

As an added little tip, my boyfriend’s father recently introduced me to the idea of placing fresh spinach under a warm dish rather than adding it to the sauté pan, and I absolutely love the result. The heat of whatever you put on top of the spinach wilts it just the right amount, and it’s one less step in your cooking, too!

Barley Risotto with Roasted Root Vegetables and Spinach


  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package quick-cook barley (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 5-6 each carrots and parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, plus more for garnishing
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnishing
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • handful fresh spinach
  • olive oil
  • salt and papper to taste


  1. Toss carrots and parsnips with thyme, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 40 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. In the meantime, sauté onion and garlic over medium-low heat in a large saucepan. After about 3 minutes or so, add barley and sauté until lightly toasted, another 5 minutes or so. Then, begin adding broth in 1/2-cup increments, stirring occasionally, until broth is entirely absorbed. Keep adding broth and stirring until all of the broth has been used. Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and Parmesan.
  3. To plate, place small handful of spinach in the bottom of your bowl, and then layer steaming barley over top, finished with a hearty spoonful of veggies, a light sprinkle of Parmesan, and an extra sprig of thyme.

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Comments (5)
  1. 1
    Molly {Dreams in HD} January 14, 2014 at 7:55 am

    i make risotto quite frequently but have never tried barley yet.
    definitely giving this a shot. thank you liz!

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

    • Liz McAvoy (@lizmcavoy) January 14, 2014 at 8:22 am

      You’ll have to let me know what you think — I love the texture the barley adds, perfect for a weeknight meal!

  2. 2
    Arin January 14, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    this looks amazing, your photos look great, too!



Chanel Dror