Roasted Cauliflower Barley Risotto

Serving Size: 4
Prep Time:
Total Time:

Food editor Ian Knauer enjoys experimenting with home-brewing, so he understands how roasting malted barley can impart a deeper flavor to the final beer. He figured, rightly, that toasting barley (left over from Brown Rice and Barley) in a dry pot would also add an extra dimension to this hearty twist on risotto. Studded with roasted cauliflower and enriched with butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano, this one-dish dinner tastes just right on a chilly night.


  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cored
  • 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3.5 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 0.25 cup dry white wine
  • 0.5 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in upper third.
  2. Cut cauliflower into 1/2-inch pieces and toss with 2 Tbsp oil and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Spread in 1 layer in a large 4-sided sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and well browned, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. While cauliflower roasts, toast barley in a dry 4-qt heavy pot over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Bring broth and water to a simmer in a small saucepan.
  5. Cook garlic in remaining 2 Tbsp oil in 4-qt pot over medium heat, stirring, until pale golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add barley, stirring to coat. Add wine and simmer briskly, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup hot broth and briskly simmer, stirring, until absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until barley is just tender and creamy-looking, about 30 minutes (you may have broth left over).
  6. Stir in cauliflower, cheese, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in parsley and thin with some of remaining broth if desired.

Recipe Credit: Ian Knauer, Gourmet
Image Credit: Stephanie Foley