Barley risotto with fava beans, pecorino and lemon zest
5 from 1 vote

Barley risotto with fava beans, pecorino and lemon zest

Course Main Course
Cuisine Tuscan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 2 people


  • 1 kg of fresh fava beans, or broad beans
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots
  • Salt
  • 140 g of pearled barley
  • ½ glass of dry white wine
  • 400 ml of lightly salted vegetable stock
  • 100 g of fresh Tuscan pecorino, diced
  • A few grids of black pepper
  • Zest of ½ organic lemon, cut into thin strips or grated


  • Shell the fava beans and blanch them for a minute in a pot of boiling water.
  • Pass them under cold water, then remove the outer skin: make a small slit with a knife along the edge and pop the bean out from its skin. Collect the beans in a bowl and set aside.
  • Now make the orzotto. Pour two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of a saucepan, then add the finely minced shallots. Add a pinch of salt, too, so the shallots will stew without burning, as the salt will extract their moisture.
  • When the shallots are wilted and golden, add the barley and toast it over medium heat for a few minutes, then pour in the white wine.
  • When the wine has been absorbed, gradually add the hot stock, stirring often and cooking the barley over medium-low heat. The cooking time will vary depending on the type of barley you have chosen. For the pearled barley, it is about 20 minutes.
  • When the barley is al dente, remove it from the heat and stir in the shelled fava beans and the diced fresh pecorino.
  • Whisk the cheese into the barley to melt it, then add the finely sliced lemon peel. Serve the orzotto still piping hot and creamy.
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