Kale, Walnut and Lemon Pearl Barley Risotto Recipe

Risotto is a dish that adapts well to every season. Depending on what ingredients you use to flavour yours it can be light and delicate (Leek and Pea Risotto), or rich and decadent (Red Pepper and Goats Cheese Risotto). However, flavours are not the only way in which you can influence the seasonality of a dish. Though traditionally made with short, fat rice, it is possible to incorporate other grains or even pasta into a risotto. This recipe for Kale, Walnut and Lemon Pearl Barley Risotto runs with that idea, taking a step closer to winter perfection.

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My real love for food lies in those dishes pervaded by a sense of warmth and richness, qualities which are epitomised by autumnal cuisine. The idea behind this dish came from a GoodFood recipe entitled Indian Winter Soup. However, it was used more as a guide for what one should do with pearl barley, something I had never cooked before, rather than as a set of defined directions. This meal was simply delicious, so warming and nutritious – this soup really does perfectly encapsulate what autumn, my favourite season, means for my kitchen.

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