Vegetarian Barley Casserole with Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto (#1498)

Casseroles Main Vegetarian Healthy
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Barley Risotto:

  • 6 cups Stock vegetable
  • 1/8 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 small Onions minced
  • 1 pound Pearl Barley about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/2 cup White Wine dry
  • 1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 oz Goat (Chevre) Cheese crumbled, about 1/4 cup

Basil Pesto:

  • 2 cups Basil leaves, fresh, packed
  • 1/2 cup Pine Nuts roasted
  • 3 cloves Garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Black Pepper freshly ground
  • 1 cup Sundried Tomatoes
  • 6 Basil sprigs, fresh


  1. For the risotto:
  2. Bring vegetable broth to a simmer.
  3. In a separate large saucepan on an adjacent burner, heat the oil and sauté onion until it is translucent.
  4. Add barley (or rice) and lightly sauté to toast the barley.
  5. Add wine and stir for about 2 minutes until it is absorbed.
  6. Begin slowly adding broth, 1 ladle-full at a time, to the barley pan, stirring as you go.
  7. The friction of the stirring will bring out the starch in the barley.
  8. As the mixture absorbs the broth, ladle more into the pot.
  9. When all of the broth has been ladled into the barley pot, slowly simmer until barley is soft and creamy.
  10. Stir in ricotta to add creaminess, then crumble in goat cheese (to add cohesiveness), stir, cover and set aside.
  11. For the pesto:
  12. Place basil in food processor, add pine nuts and garlic, and pulse until chopped.
  13. Scrape into a bowl, add parmesan and stir in oil to form a thick smooth paste.
  14. Add black pepper, to taste.
  15. Preheat oven to 350° f (180° c).
  16. Spread half of the barley (or rice) mixture over the bottom of a lasagna dish or large casserole.
  17. Top with half of the sun-dried tomatoes and then with half of the basil pesto.
  18. Repeat for a second layer.
  19. Bake covered with foil for 25 minutes, then remove foil and continue to bake for 5 minutes to let top layer of pesto become toasted.
  20. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
  21. Serve garnished with fresh basil sprigs.
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