Alex's book of recipes

Barley risotto with marinated feta

Vegetarian main course requiring less precision thean traditional Italian risotto.


100g pearl barley

1 small celery stalk, cut into 5mm dice

1 small shallot, cut into 5mm dice

2 garlic cloves, cut into 2mm dice

2 thyme sprigs

⅕ tsp smoked paprika

2 strips lemon rind

1 bay leaf

¼ tsp chili flakes

200g tin of chopped tomatoes

150ml passata

350ml vegetable stock

salt and pepper

½ tbsp caraway seeds

150g feta, broken roughly into small pieces

½ tbsp fresh oregano leaves


Rinse pearl barley well with cold water and leave to drain.

Melt butter and olive oil in large frying pan, cook shallot, celery and garlic gently until soft. Add barley, thyme, paprika, bay leaf, lemon rind, chili flakes, tomatoes, and ¼ tbsp salt. Bring mixture to boil, then simmer gently for 45m.

Toast the caraway seeds in a dry pan for a couple minutes, then lightly crush them. Add to the feta along with some olive oil, and mix to combine.

Serve the risotto topped with marinated feta and some oregano leaves.


recipe from: 'Jerusalem' by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi