Barley Risotto with Fennel

  • Cook Method: Slow Cooker
  • Dish Type: Main
  • Temp: None
  • Prep Time: 30 minute(s)
  • Cook Time: 3.0 hour(s)
  • Servings: 6
  • Tags: no tags


1 cup Pearl barley
2 tsp Fennel seed
1 Large Fennel bulb , cored and finely diced
1 small Carrot , finely chopped
1 large Shallot , finely chopped
2 clove Garlic , minced
4 cup Vegetable broth
1 1/4 cup Water
1/3 cup White wine
2 cup Green beans , Frozen, french cut
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese , grated
1/3 cup Black olives , coarsely chopped
1 tbsp Lenon zest , freshly grated
1/2 tsp Black pepper


  1. Coat a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray.

  2. Crush fennel seeds with the bottom of a saucepan.

  3. Combine the fennel seeds, diced fennel, barley (or rice), carrot, shallot and garlic in the slow cooker.

  4. Add broth, 1 cup water and wine, and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the barley (or rice) is tender, but pleasantly chewy, and the risotto is thick and creamy, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours on high or low.

  5. Shortly before serving, cook green beans according to package instructions and drain.

  6. Turn off the slow cooker.

  7. Stir the green beans, Parmesan, olives, lemon zest and pepper into the risotto. If it seems dry, heat the remaining 1/2 cup water and stir it into the risotto.

  8. Serve sprinkled with the chopped fennel fronds.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare fennel, carrot, shallot and garlic. Combine broth, 1 cup water and wine. Refrigerate in separate covered containers for up to 1 day.

For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.


Per serving: 242 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 9 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 10 g protein; 8 g fiber; 474 mg sodium; 330 mg potassium.