Mushroom orzotto

It has been a week since my last post. I think it might be the longest I have ever gone without posting, but I am super busy at work with many close deadlines and I am trying to meet all of them. Next month looks pretty busy too, so I might stay on a 1 to 2 posts a week schedule for a while.

Also I have been doing a lot of cooking and canning in my free time, with my master pieces being canned tomatoes and Italian croissants. Let’s say I am researching for my next posts. I will report on some of my experiments in the next few weeks.

Today I will give you the recipe for mushroom orzotto. Orzotto is like risotto, but is made with barley (orzo) instead of with risotto. The flavor ends up being quite similar, but a little more rounded. And orzo is more toothsome than rice, so orzotto has more of a bite risotto. For whatever reson I think of barley as a summer thing, so a mushroom orzotto in my mind is a good way of marrying summer and fall.

Mushroom orzotto

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 Servings

Mushroom orzotto


  • 7 oz. barley
  • 1 cup mushrooms (fresh or re-hydrated)
  • 1 and 1/2 cup boiling beef or chicken broth
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine


  1. Start by re-hydrating your mushrooms, if you are using dried ones. I used dried shitake and re-hydrated them in hot water, you can use whatever mushrooms you can find, fresh or dried.
  2. Cook the onion in the olive oil and when it is soft add in the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms cook for a couple of minutes and then add the barley.
  3. Toast the barley for about 1 minute and then add the white wine. Let the wine evaporate and when it is completely gone start adding the broth one ladle at a time. I like to use beef broth, because I like its more assertive flavor, but chicken broth would work well too.
  4. Cooking orzotto is exactly like cooking risotto, you want to add the broth one ladle at a time and wait to add the next until the previous broth is completely absorbed by the barley. It will take about 20 minutes to cook the orzotto.
  5. Serve hot adding adding a bit of grated cheese, if you feel so inclined.

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12 Responses to Mushroom orzotto

  1. Michelle says:

    yum yum yum mushrooms!

  2. Juanita says:

    I love mushroom risotto, and your barley-based version looks delicious!

  3. carey says:

    Mmmm, I made it this weekend! Added in a chicken breast too for fun. It was delish. Thank you!!

  4. Kimby says:

    Marrying summer and fall is a good thing. So is toothsome! Enjoy your time off between posts, Pola. I hear ya. πŸ™‚

  5. Nava.K says:

    grains are perfect for a healthy meal and it look yummy.

  6. Frank says:

    Funny, I always think of barley as a Fall/Winter thing… not sure why. Perhaps because here in the States it inevitably shows up in mushroom soups? No matter, it's delicious any time of year, and this looks fantastic!

  7. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Italian croissants! I'd love to know how to make it (hoping it's manageable for me). You use Shiitake for this dish, not Italian mushrooms? Wow that's nice to know and you re-hydrate shiitake, so that means you have dried one. Wow… so happy to hear your Asian pantry. =) Looks delicious Paola!

  8. Paolo says:

    Nice looking plate! I've had barley risotto in restaurants and I love it, but I've never tried cooking it at home. Thanks for the idea!

  9. Chiara says:

    che bel piatto autunnale, me lo segno!Buona serata…

  10. Erin says:

    Great idea to use barley! I bet this was hearty and super tasty!

  11. Manu says:

    This sounds awesome! You know, I have never cooked orzotto before… yet I love barley and risotto!!! I will need to try!!! πŸ™‚

    By the way… there's an award waiting for you! You can find it here: πŸ™‚

  12. bellini says:

    This would be perfect for my harvest dinner!!!

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