Recipe: Barley Risotto with Mushroom and Broccoli

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Barley Risotto This weekend on the Market Report, Laura Avery talks to Chef James Trees. Currently Trees is debuting his forthcoming Treehouse restaurant concept at This is Not A Pop-Up, a so-called “culinary incubator” program for chefs. Organizers Helen Springut and Helena Brown describe the project as an opportunity for chefs to focus on the creative aspects of a restaurant. Basically that means cooking what they want and how they want to without the distractions of running a restaurant night after night. Sounds like fun, right?

You will find this recipe for Barley Risotto with Mushroom and Broccoli on the menu this weekend. Notice that Chef Trees uses black garlic in this recipe which he says tastes like mushrooms and has a “massive amount of umami”. He uses it as a substitute for truffle oil which is often made of chemicals. Look for it at your local farmers market.
Keep reading for the recipe and find the list of forthcoming chefs at This is Not a Pop Up here.

Barley Mushroom Risotto

(From James Trees of the forthcoming Treehouse pop-up.)

Makes 4 portions.


½ cup pearl barley

¼ lb maitake mushrooms

1 lb button mushrooms, sliced

4 tablespoons white wine

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons yellow onion, sliced

1 ea black garlic, peeled

3 quarts water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ lb broccoli di cecco

½ cup macarpone

1 broccoli crown

1 cup sherry vinegar

6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  1. For the mushroom stock:

Sweat the onions in the oil, then the button mushrooms. Deglaze the pot with the white wine, bring to dry, and then add the water. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 60 min. Strain.

  1. For the mushroom vinegar:

Take the left over mushrooms from the stock and pour over vinegar. Let simmer for 45 min and cool the vinegar with the mushrooms in the liquid.

  1. For the barley:

Bring the half mushroom stock to the boil, then add the barley and boil for 20 min. Cool the barley in the stock.

  1. For the broccoli di cecco and broccoli:

Take the not perfect leaves from the broccoli di ceccco and the crown from the broccoli, Blanche in boiling salted water and cool in ice water. Blanche the small pieces of broccoli di cecco. Next, puree the blanched broccoli and crowns and puree them smooth in a blender with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.

  1. For the black garlic:

Boil the peeled garlic in water, until very soft. Puree with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and the water, then cool and reserve.

  1. To pick up the dish:

Bring the cooked barley in the rest of the mushroom stock to a boil. Season. Add the black garlic puree and the mascarpone. Cook until the risotto is thick and will stand up on itself without being oily. Adjust with water as necessary. Then saute the maitake mushrooms and the broccoli. Place them on the dish. Dot the broccoli puree and garnish with the vinegar tableside.