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Creamy orzotto with roasted peppers and chorizo — your new go-to grain dish

Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy in 1999 from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the rest of ...

Explore the wonders of barley in this hearty dish that will make you forget all about risotto

You've heard of risotto, but what about orzotto?

Riso is the Italian word for rice, while orzo is the Italian word for barley. In orzotto, you cook the dish just like you would cook risotto. Risotto is a big favorite, but when you replace the rice with barley, it can be even better. I love orzotto because barley has a wonderful, nutty flavor with a chewy bite. And guess what! Barley is a very healthy cereal grain that is very high in fiber, manganese, niacin, selenium and a lot of other vitamins and minerals, and it also helps prevent cancers and heart diseases.

This orzotto dish has very simple and minimal ingredients, but they have explosive flavors. Chorizo, roasted peppers, rosemary and chickpeas create a perfect harmony of delectable flavors. Buon appetito!

Explore the wonders of barley in this hearty dish that will make you forget all about risotto
Image: Rowena Dumlao-Giardina/SheKnows

Creamy barley with chorizo and roasted peppers recipe

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 50 minutes | Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, small diced
  • 1/2 cup or 2 ounces chorizo, small diced
  • 1/2 cup or 3.5 ounces roasted bell peppers, small diced
  • 2 cups pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup precooked chickpeas
  • 1 twig rosemary
  • 4 cups hot vegetable broth

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat with extra-virgin olive oil, sauté the onions and chorizo for 1 minute, then add the bell peppers, and sauté for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add the barley, and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable broth. Let it boil, then simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes or until the barley is almost tender and creamy.
  4. About 15 minutes before the barley is done, in a blender, place the chickpeas with about 3 tablespoons of water, and pulse until it becomes a soft paste. Mix it into the barley, along with the rosemary.
  5. Serve warm, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil before serving.

More barley recipes

Barley, feta and asparagus salad in a jar
One-pot lemon garlic chicken with fried barley and scrambled eggs
Slow cooker beef barley soup

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