Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.

Purple Barley Risotto with Cauliflower Recipe

Looking for an easy Purple Barley Risotto with Cauliflower recipe? Learn how to make Purple Barley Risotto with Cauliflower using healthy ingredients.

Submitted by angel46915

Makes 4 servings

Purple prairie barley is an heirloom grain that originated in Tibet. High in protein, the grain has the chewy texture of regular barley but with a dark purple hue. If you can?t find purple barley, make this delicious risotto with the regular type, preferably whole hulled barley that has not been pearled. (Pearl barley cooks more quickly, but many of the nutrients are lost when it?s pearled.) Recipes for Health Martha Rose Shulman presents food that is vibrant and light, full of nutrients but by no means ascetic, fun to cook and to eat. Whichever you use, cook the barley ahead of time so that the dish doesn?t take too long to make. Purple prairie barley takes about one and a half hours to cook if unsoaked, about one hour if soaked. A cup yields just under 4 cups cooked barley.

Recipe Ingredients for Purple Barley Risotto with Cauliflower

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chopped cauliflower
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup barley
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup fresh peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 ounces Parmesan

Recipe Directions for Purple Barley Risotto with Cauliflower

  1. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  2. 1/2 cup finely chopped onion

  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced

  4. 1 small head cauliflower, separated into small florets, then broken into smaller pieces or sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 4 heaped cups)

  5. 1/2 cup fruity red wine, such as a Côtes du Rhone

  6. 4 cups cooked purple prairie barley (1 cup uncooked) or hulled barley

  7. 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

  8. 1 cup thawed frozen or fresh peas

  9. Salt and freshly ground pepper

  10. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  11. 2 ounces Parmesan, grated (1/2 cup)

  12. 1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet or saucepan, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cauliflower. Cook, stirring, for a minute until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the barley and red wine. Cook, stirring, until the wine has evaporated, leaving the cauliflower tinted.

  13. 2. Add 1 1/2 cups of the stock, and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Add the peas, and continue to simmer until the cauliflower and peas are tender and most of the stock has evaporated, about 15 minutes. There should still be some creamy liquid surrounding the grains of barley. If the mixture dries out before the cauliflower is tender, or if the grains are not suspended in some liquid at the end of cooking, add some of the additional 1/2 cup of stock. Add pepper, and adjust salt.

  14. 3. Stir in the parsley and Parmesan, remove from the heat and serve.

  15. Yield: Serves four to six.

  16. Advance preparation: Unlike regular risotto, the grains will not continue to soften after you remove this from the heat. If you need to have the dish made ahead of serving, you can cook it through Step 2 and reheat. I would cook the peas separately, however, and add them when you reheat, because their color will fade due to the acid in the red wine. You may want to add some more broth when you reheat.

  17. Nutritional information per serving (four servings): 384 calories; 3 grams saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 6 grams monounsaturated fat; 12 milligrams cholesterol; 48 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams dietary fiber; 306 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 16 grams protein

  18. Nutritional information per serving (six servings): 256 calories; 2 grams saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 8 milligrams cholesterol; 32 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams dietary fiber; 204 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 11 grams protein

  19. Martha Rose Shulman is the author of ?The Very Best of Recipes for Health.?


Main Dish

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 365.3g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 14% Vitamin C 112%
Calcium 22% Iron 19%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation.


Calorie Breakdown
Nutrition Breakdown
Daily Values
Daily Values

Health Information

Nutrition Grade
96% confidence
  Good points
  • Low in cholesterol
  • High in dietary fiber
  • High in manganese
  • Very high in vitamin C
  •   Bad points
  • Contains alcohol
  • Join Calorie Count - It's Easy and Free!