Artichoke and Spinach Barley "Risotto"
Serves: 6 as a side dish
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and green parts (about 2 medium leeks), washed well
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup barley, semi-pearled or hulled (do NOT rinse)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 3 ½ cups chicken stock or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
  • 6 oz. artichoke hearts (frozen or water-packed is fine), quartered
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano cheese or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium ovenproof pot or Dutch oven, melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and sprinkle with sea salt. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the barley and the lemon zest and stir to combine. Add the wine, raise the heat, and simmer, uncovered, until the wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add all the stock, the artichokes and 1 teaspoon sea salt (add more to taste if your stock is unsalted), and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover the pot with a lid and transfer it to the oven. Say "see ya later!" Bake for about 1 hour, until the barley is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Remove the pot from the oven and uncover it. If it seems too liquidy, place over low heat and simmer a couple of minutes to reduce the liquid to your liking. I like it it a little looser than a pilaf. Otherwise, stir in the Parmesan, 1 Tablespoon butter, lemon juice, black pepper to taste and the raw spinach. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately. To reheat leftovers, add a little hot water in a saucepan or add enough stock to change it into a soup.
Recipe by Pamela Salzman at