Roasted Carrot Barley Risotto

made vegetarian or vegan!

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In case you missed it: Please tell me you didn’t miss these Miso Parmesan Tomato NoodlesI made last week! They are probably one of my favorite recipes I’ve made this year. They’re made with ramen noodles, burst tomatoes, miso butter, and Parmesan, and they are creamy, salty, and full of umami!!

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Recipe I’m Loving: I haven’t been cooking all week because I’ve been traveling, but before I left, I ate the same breakfast for probably 4 days in a row: Cottage Cheese with Figs, Walnuts, and Honey, sometimes in a bowl, sometimes on toast. Fig and ricotta toast is everywhere, but you’ve gotta try it with cottage cheese (particularly my favorite cottage cheese, Nancy’s Probiotic Cheese.) This is not sponsored, I am just obsessed with how thick and tangy it is.

Life updates: I’ve been in New York this weekend, and although I come back to New York fairly regularly, I am feeling especially nostalgic this trip. Maybe because it’s the time of year, and I’m reminded of returning back to school — the energy of entering the city in fall — but I keep reflecting back on my time here and at NYU. It is starting to feel so long ago — which, honestly, it was! I started school here in 2009, and it has been 8 years since I moved away back to California. But New York still feels a lot like home to me. I can effortlessly navigate around the city, and I’m instantly brought back to a certain independence when I walk down these city streets. At the same time, though, I feel very out of the loop when it comes to the hot new restaurant and bars. When people ask me what are my recommendations for food in the city, I have to rack my brain a bit, and I’m reminded that New York hasn’t been my home in quite some time. Nostalgia!!! Okay, are these life updates turning into my diary? Tbd.


Everyone’s transitioning into fall, and I’m very much resisting, but this risotto felt like a good way to dip my toes into the water without having to use pumpkin prematurely (sorry). It’s made with pearl barley, which gives it a little bit of chewiness and a nutty flavor, along with roasted garlic and carrots, which gives it a little sweetness, and white miso for that salty oomph.

You do need a little patience when making this risotto (it is risotto, after all), but I can promise you it’s worth it.

This week’s recipe started off vegan, but I couldn’t resist sprinkling some Parmesan cheese on top at the end (oops). The good news is, that’s the only dairy in the dish, so you can just skip that step at the end if you want it to be entirely plant-based (which was how the dish was intended lol).

Roasted Carrot Barley Risotto

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 7 carrots, sliced crosswise into coins

  • 1 head garlic

  • 1 1/2 tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil)

  • 4-7 cups vegetable broth (plus 1/2 cup)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

  • 3/4 cup pearl barley

  • 1 tbsp white miso

  • Chopped fresh parsley, to top

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Add the carrots to a baking sheet or baking dish. Remove any loose paper/skin from the garlic and discard. Slice off the top of the garlic head so about 1/4 inch of the cloves is exposed. Drizzle with a little bit of avocado oil, and wrap in aluminum foil. Toss the carrots in the remaining avocado oil, and season with a pinch of salt. Add the foil-wrapped garlic to the baking sheet or dish with the carrots, and roast for about 30-40 minutes until carrots are lightly browned and soft. Set aside any crispy pieces to place on top of your risotto.

2. While the carrots are roasting, begin preparing the risotto. In a small saucepan, bring all but 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth to a simmer, and keep warm. Heat up olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the chopped onions, and sauté for about 7-8 minutes until onions are soft and translucent. Add the barley, and stir for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Add in the warm broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until broth is absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup broth at a time, allowing liquid to become absorbed between additions, and do this until the barley is just tender (this took me 1 hour)

3. When carrots are done, add them to a food processor or blender along with the roasted garlic (remove by squeezing the garlic from the peels, when cooled) 1/2 cup vegetable broth, and 1 tbsp miso. Blend until smooth.

4. When barley is cooked, mix the carrot mixture into the risotto. Taste, and season with salt if needed. Top with the crispy carrot coins, fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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