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Swede & Thyme Barlotto


Prep time20 minutes
Cooking time45 minutes
Total time1 hour, 5 minutes


Cook your pearled barley risotto-style and you’ve got ‘barlotto’ this swede-studded version goes particularly well with Cock-a-Leekie Chicken roast – or dish it up as a vegetarian main.


1 1⁄5 l
veg or chicken stock
swede (peeled and diced into 1cm cubes)
garlic cloves
pearl barley
A splash of whiskey or white wine
A grating of nutmeg or pinch of mixed spice
A handful of thyme leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Pour your stock into a saucepan. Set over low heat to gently simmer.

2. Peel and finely dice your onion and swede. Peel and chop your garlic. Set large pot or pan over high heat. Add a little oil or butter.

3. Swirl in your chopped onion, swede and garlic. Season well. Lower heat a little. Cook 5 mins or till it starts to pick up a little colour.

4. Swirl it in along with the barley. Toast for a mo. Add a splash of whiskey or wine, if you like. Tuck in the bay leaves. Stir in a large ladle of stock. Lower heat. Set a timer for 25 mins.

5. Continue to stir in a ladle or two of stock in every few mins till the timer goes off or till it’s all used up, the barley is tender and has a little bit of sauciness to it. Top up with water if needed.

6. Finish with a little lemon zest and juice, an extra nugget of butter, a grating of nutmeg and a generous scattering of fresh thyme leaves. Tweak seasoning to taste and dish up warm.