Root Veggie Barley Risotto from Vegan Slow Cooking for Two

Root Veggie Barley Risotto from Vegan Slow Cooking for Two

Photo by Kate Lewis

It got into the 20’s here last night even though it was 70 degrees just 3 days ago, so that’s gotten me craving root veggies. I bought some great looking rutabagas at the farmers market and they will be the perfect centerpiece in this barley risotto tomorrow night.

I’ve been in love with the humble turnip and rutabaga ever since my first winter CSA.   The wonderful thing about them is that they are inexpensive, keep for a long period of time and how they mellow out with cooking. If you have some left over from the risotto, try roasting them and serving them on salads and pizzas.

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Using barley allows this risotto to cook all day. Do not substitute rice because it will cook in 1 1/2 to 2 hours and be a paste when you come home form work!

Root Veggie Barley Risotto

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 3 cups

Soy-free, Oil-free
In the morning:
  • 2 cups (475 ml) water
  • ½ cup (92 g) barley
  • ½ cup (65 g) diced carrots
  • ½ cup (75 g) diced turnips or rutabagas, peeled
  • ½ cup (67 g) diced sweet potatoes or (70 g) winter squash
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
In the evening:
  • 1 cup (56 g) minced greens (such
  • as turnips, collards, kale, etc.)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
In the morning:
  1. Add all the morning ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.
Minutes before serving:
  1. Add the greens and lemon zest.
  2. Right before serving, add salt and pepper to taste. Also add more oregano and/or sage if needed.
This recipe uses a 1½ to 2 quart slow cooker.

Root Veggie Barley Risotto from Vegan Slow Cooking for Two

Photo by Kate Lewis


  1. Leslie says

    I made the Mushroom Barley Risotto last night for lunch today – found a batch of wild oyster mushrooms in the woods over the weekend – – this recipe really did wild oysters justice!!! so yummy – – will have to try this root veggie risotto next – – love this cookbook so much!!

    • Kathy Hester says

      Your risotto must have been fantastic with the oyster mushrooms you found! Thank you for your kind words about my new book.

  2. Kate says

    This sounds delicious! Do you think golden beets would work in this dish? I’ve never tasted them, but I just picked some up from our local organic market and would like to use them. Your thoughts?

    • Kathy Hester says

      I think golden beets would be awesome in this. You should know I’m a huge beet fan, so I love them in everything!

      • Kate says

        Thanks Kathy! I think I’ll make this for tonight’s dinner – I actually have all the ingredients! Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Karen says

    Kathy – I have a larger slow cooker. Would this recipe turn out well if I doubled it and cooked it in the larger pot?

    Also, if I wanted to add beans, how would that work? If they were canned, should I just add them during the last hour of cooking?

    Thanks! This sounds delicious! I plan on making it tomorrow!

    • Kathy Hester says

      If you have a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker you may need to triple the recipes and/or add additional liquid.

      I usually add canned beans in the morning with the other ingredients, but if you want them to not get soft adding 1 hour before servings would work if the beans are canned and at room temperature.

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