Wild Mushroom Barley Risotto with Scallops


Pearled barley is a great tasting whole grain, and makes for a creamy textured risotto. Presidents' Choice chef Tom Filippou shares this rich tasting dish that's also healthy for your heart. Using the mushroom soaking liquid gives an extra layer of rich flavour.

Wild Mushroom Barley Risotto with Scallops

Serves: 8


1/2 cup (125 mL) dried chanterelle mushrooms
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried portobello mushrooms
7 oz (200 g) fresh shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt
1 cup (250 mL) pearl barley
2 tbsp (25 mL) each chopped fresh parsley and thyme
6 Fresh Sea Scallops
4 tsp (20 mL) aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
5 seeded and finely diced plum tomatoes


1. In saucepan, bring 6-1/2 cups (1.625 L) water to a boil. Add all dried mushrooms. Turn off heat. Cover; let stand 20 minutes. Meanwhile, remove and discard stems from shiitake mushrooms; slice caps and set aside. Strain dried mushrooms, returning mushroom stock to saucepan. Squeeze excess water out of rehydrated mushrooms; chop and set aside. Maintain low heat on mushroom stock.

2.In another saucepan, heat 2 tbsp (25 mL) oil over medium-high heat; cook onions for 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sliced shiitakes, chopped dried mushrooms and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of the salt; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

3.Stir in barley; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Start adding mushroom stock 1 cup (250 mL) at a time, stirring constantly, and allowing each addition of stock to be fully absorbed before adding next. Reduce heat to medium to maintain a simmer. Continue gradually adding stock and stirring until barley is tender and desired consistency is reached, about 30 minutes from first addition of stock. You may not need all of the mushroom stock. Stir in parsley, thyme and remaining 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt. Set aside.

4.In frying pan, heat 2 tsp (10 mL) oil over medium-high heat; cook scallops for 2 to 3 minutes or until cooked through, turning once.

5.Divide evenly among six to eight plates. Garnish with tomatoes. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) balsamic vinegar.

Nutritional Information

Per 1 cup (250 mL) serving: 220 calories, fat 5 g, sodium 350 mg, carbohydrate 29 g, fibre 4 g, protein 15 g

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