Wild West Barley Risoto

By meg f. from Drew School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


West Side Barley Risotto


Our West Philadelphia team has reformed risotto, the much loved Italian classic dish. Without losing the fabulous creamy, soft nature that the entrée is known for, aborio rice has been replaced with a more nutritious whole grain. Barley is not only extremely nourishing, it is also filling.  In the West Side Risotto, each grain of barley is plump with savory vegetable broth and saturated with a sweet  and creamy parsnip paste. The red onions and roasted squash decorate the delightful whole grain, making the dish pleasing to all the senses.


“My favorite is the barley with the orange pumpkin in it!”- Angelica (K)

“I like that the barley is creamy and sweet” –David (2nd)

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 8oz

From Fat29%
From Saturated Fat4%
From Sugar12%


Ingredient 6 servings 50 servings
whole pearled barley1.5c/7 oz12c/58 oz
butternut squash3c/1lb24c/8lb
vegetable stock4c/32oz33c/267oz
olive oil .5T/1.5oz25T/12oz
cinnamon stick1pc/.1oz8pc/.8oz
apple cider1c/8oz8c/64oz
orange juice.25c/2oz2c/16oz
ground ginger.5t/.05oz4t/.4oz
red onions1c/4oz8c/33oz


Preheat oven to 450F and slice parsnips into thin ¼” coins. Peel and dice squash into 1/2” cubes. Toss both parsnips and squash in ½ of the oil salt and pepper. Lay vegetableson 14” x 16” tray (2’ x 4’ for 50) and bake for 20 minutes until slightly browned and soft. Slice onions and mince garlic. Sauté onions and garlic until translucent (about 10 minutes), sprinkle with ½ of the salt and pepper, Add the barley, stirring to coat with oil and onions. Add the cinnamon and the lemon, and then gradually add the vegetable broth. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes until barley is plump. Place the baked soft parsnips in a blender with ½ of the olive oil, ½ of the salt, ½ of the pepper, the apple cider, orange juice, water, ginger and cardamom. Blend mixture until it is creamy. Stir parsnip mixture into the cooked barley. Once the barley is well coated with parsnip cream, gently stir in baked squash. Enjoy!