Cauliflower Barley Risotto

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3 to 4 1x


  • 1 tablespoon oil olive
  • 2 cups small cauliflower florets (roughly 1/2 head)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • Salt, to taste


  1. In a sauce pan, bring vegetable broth to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let sit while making the risotto.
  2. Heat a medium pan with high sides over medium heat. Add in 1 tablespoon olive oil, followed by the cauliflower florets. Cook, stirring often, until the cauliflower is tender and lightly browning, 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of your cauliflower florets. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Return pan to heat and add in the other 1 tablespoon of olive oil and barley, stirring and cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and a bit of salt, cooking for another minute. Finally, stir in the white wine.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of the stock and stir. Let risotto cook until nearly all the stock broth has been absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup and let absorb again, repeating the add broth/let absorb, stirring frequently, until the barley is tender. Check after 20 minutes. Barley will be soft but still have some firmness to it.
  5. Stir in the cauliflower, cheddar, and chives, letting the cheddar melt. Serve with an extra sprinkle of cheddar and chives.