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Fennel Barley Risotto

Three Stars Guiding Stars
  • Servings:

    6 (358 g) as an appetizer
  • Prep Time:

    30 minutes
  • Cook Time:

    150 minutes


Fennel is a delicious plant from bulb to seed. The mild flavor is reminiscent of licorice, but in a light and fresh way that primarily adds sweetness to the dishes it accompanies. This barley dish, which is made in a slow cooker to achieve a risotto-like texture, is the perfect place for fennel to show you just how beautifully it can make your food sing.
2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 fennel bulb, diced
2 Tbsp. chopped fennel fronds (optional)
1 cup pearl barley
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water, divided
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 (16 oz.) bag frozen green beans
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped black olives
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
Pepper to taste
Fennel Barley Risotto


1. Combine the fennel seeds, fennel bulb, barley, carrot, shallot, and garlic in a large slow cooker. Stir in broth, 1 cup water, and wine. Cover and cook on HIGH until the barley is tender and the risotto is thick and creamy (2-3 hours).
2. Shortly before serving, cook green beans according to package directions and drain. Turn off the slow cooker. Stir the green beans, Parmesan, olives, lemon zest, and pepper into the risotto. Serve garnished with chopped fennel fronds.


Nutritional Facts
Servings 6 (358 g)
Base Nutrients
Calories 231 kcal (12%)
Calories from Fat 39 kcal (0%)
Total Fat 4 g (7%)
Saturated Fat 2 g (8%)
Cholesterol 6 mg (2%)
Sodium 257 mg (11%)
Total Carbohydrates 38 g (13%)
Dietary Fiber 9 g (34%)
Protein 10 g (17%)
Vitamin A n/a
Vitamin C 13 mg (15%)
Calcium 136 mg (10%)
Iron 2 mg (13%)