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Slow-cooker barley and pumpkin risotto

Serves   4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 3 hours

Barley imparts a lovely nutty flavour to risottos and holds its shape well. You can use any vegetables you have to hand, be it mushrooms, spinach or kumara.





  • 25 grams butter
  • 2 leeks, finely sliced
  • 1½ cups pearl barley
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 300 grams pumpkin, chopped into 1-2cm chunks
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, heated
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and gently cook the leeks for 10 minutes or until just tender.

2. Add the barley and stir to coat with the butter. Increase the heat and pour over the white wine; allow to bubble for 1 minute.

3. Transfer the barley mixture to your slow cooker and add the pumpkin and stock. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours until barley is tender and stock absorbed.

4. Gently stir through the Parmesan cheese and serve with seasonal greens.