Vegetarian Heaven

Vegan Barley Risotto with Squash and Chermoula

This put up is in partnership with Bob’s Pink Mill.

Risotto is a go-to recipe on this website and in my kitchen. One thing is reassuring a few massive dish of creamy grains loaded with greens on prime. This vegan model makes use of a easy cashew cream for added taste within the risotto and a wealthy squash topping, with assist from the North African condiment, chermoula. 

Cracked Risotto

There’s nothing fairly like Arborio rice for risotto. The creamy texture the starch from the rice offers is superb. Complete grains can’t fairly examine, however I wish to crack the grain within the blender to imitate a little bit of the starch. Throughout the winter months, I crack the grains somewhat additional, making this risotto actually creamy. This begins to blur the road between porridge and risotto, however I nonetheless name it risotto due to the cooking methodology. 

I’ve a rotation of some grains I take advantage of for risotto, however barley is often one I attain for many. The grain is hearty however doesn’t have a robust taste, making it excellent to take in flavors from the risotto additions. Bob’s pearl barley is nice for risotto as a result of the pearl creates a pure starch addition. In fact, I like to assist it alongside by cracking it. 

Squash Choices

There’s a myriad of squash choices for the topping on this barley risotto. I used pink kabocha squash, however you possibly can simply use butternut, Delicata, or a non-squash possibility, candy potatoes. I’d keep away from utilizing acorn squash or Delicata. The acorn squash doesn’t maintain texture as properly.

Pink chermoula 

In the event you’re unfamiliar with chermoula, it’s an herb-based condiment from North African international locations historically used with fish. The model I’m utilizing for this recipe, a pink model, is kicked up a notch with floor chiles’ assist. As talked about within the recipe notes, I take advantage of the recipe from Eden Grinshpan’s cookbook, Consuming Out Loud.



Vegan Barley Risotto with Braised Squash and Chermoula

  • Creator: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Prepare dinner Time: 55
  • Whole Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 giant servings 1x



Risotto Base

¾ cup Bob’s Pink Mill Barley

45 cups vegetable broth

½ medium yellow onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Cashew Cream

⅓ cup cashew cream (see be aware)

1 teaspoon nut yeast

1 small garlic clove

1 teaspoon miso

½ teaspoon mild vinegar


¾ pound butternut or kabocha squash (peeled and cubbed)

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup pink chermoula (see be aware)

Recent parsley leaves, for serving


  • Prep the gadgets you will have for the bottom of the risotto. Blitz the barley in a blender for a few seconds, simply to breakdown among the grains. Warmth the vegetable broth in a pot and let sit. Lastly, mince the onion.
  • Warmth a big skillet or braised over medium warmth. Add the olive oil to the heated pan and comply with with the minced onion and salt. Prepare dinner till the onions are tender; about 10 minutes. Add within the barley, stirring to coat, then add just a few ladles of the new broth.
  • Scale back the warmth to medium-low. Prepare dinner the barley, often stirring, till many of the liquid has been absorbed. Add just a few extra ladles of the broth and proceed on this sample till the risotto is cooked, 45 minutes or so.
  • Whereas the risotto cooks, prep the cashew cream and squash. Mix the cashew cream with the dietary yeast, minced garlic, miso, and vinegar; put aside.
  • For the squash, warmth a skillet with a lid over medium-hit warmth. Add the olive oil adopted by the squash. Hold the warmth on excessive and cook dinner the squash, stirring solely a few occasions, till the squash has a great shade on among the items. As soon as that occurs, flip off the warmth, add the chermoula, stir, and canopy. Let relaxation whereas the risotto continues to cook dinner. The squash will proceed to cook dinner and grow to be tender.
  • As soon as the barley is tender and most liquid has been absorbed, stir within the cashew cream. Style and modify the salt degree as wanted. High with the squash and contemporary parsley.



Chermoula: I just like the pink chermoula recipe from Eden Grinhpan’s cookbook, Consuming Out Loud. Yow will discover a model of her recipe right here (but it surely’s lacking preserved lemon, which the guide’s recipe requires one complete preserved lemon rinsed. You can even use lemon juice/zest).

Cashew Cream Base: I preserve the bottom simple: soak ¼ cup cashews in sizzling water for about an hour. Drain and place in a blender together with ¼ cup of contemporary sizzling water (or sizzling broth). Puree till clean and use as directed. 

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