Spelt, Barley and Squash Risotto

Josh Eggelton
Serves Serves 4
Print recipe
  • Prep time 10 mins
  • Cook time 60 mins
  • Ready time 70 mins

This recipe uses spelt and barley instead of rice to create a flavourful risotto.

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  • 150 g spelt
  • 8 carrots, peeled
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed
  • 3 knobs butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 celery stick
  • 150 g barley
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 50 g cooked chestnuts, chopped
  • 200 g vegetarian Parmesan, grated
  • 4 teaspoons truffle oil
  • 1 tablespoon pistachio nuts
  • 1 handful pea shoots
  • pepper
  • salt
  • olive oil


Place 4 of the carrots in a blender and juice. Chop the other 4 carrots and then chop the bottom half of the squash into cubes. Place the cubed squash, chopped carrots, milk and butter in a pan and simmer until tender.

Place the contents of the pan in the blender with the juiced carrots. Blend to make a purée, and add more milk if it looks too thick.

Peel the other half of the squash and chop into cubes. Toss together with olive oil, salt and pepper before placing in the oven to roast at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Cook until the squash appears to be tender.

For the risotto, crush the garlic and finely dice the shallots and the celery. Place the garlic, shallots and celery into a large pan with a knob of butter, and sweat.

Wash both the barley and spelt and add them to the pan along with the white wine. Add a dash of water to the pan, and continue cooking until absorbed.

Stir 100g of the carrot and squash purée into the pan, until the grains are coated. Continue to add more of the purée as it cooks, to prevent it from drying out – similar to how you would gradually add stock to risotto.

When the purée has been absorbed, stir in the cubed squash, chopped chestnuts, Parmesan, truffle oil and a knob of butter.

Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, spoon onto a large plate, and add chopped pistachios, pea shoots and a few drops of olive oil to garnish.

Additional notes

Recipe courtesy of Great British Chefs. Visit their site for more vegetarian recipes.