Barley Brown Rice Risotto

This past valentines Day I decided to make my boyfriend a delicious gourmet dinner. The first course was a delicious Barley Brown Rice mix Risotto with a creamy celery base.The risotto was paired with delicious butternut squash medallions and fried shiitake mushrooms. This dish is a party for your mouth, as it has delicious flavors coursing throughout it whether it be the smokey shiitake mushrooms, the sweet butternut squash, or the nutty rice mix! I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did!


Barley Brown Rice Celery Risotto 

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Yields: 4-6 Large servings



  • 2 cups of Trader Joe’s Brown Rice/Barley/Mustard seed mix
  • 1 1/2 pieces of celery chopped finely. 
  • 1/4 onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of milk or cream 
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 cups chicken stock 
  • water 
  • 1/2 cup shredded low fat Parmesan cheese
  • Canola Oil
  • Shiitake Mushroom
  • Butternut squash 
  • Cornstarch

No Trader Joes nearby?

  • 1 1/4 cups Brown Rice
  • 1/2 cup Barley 
  • 1/4 cup mustard seeds

Tools Needed: 

  • Blender (immersion or standalone works)
  • stove top
  • pot
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • measuring cups
  • High heat thermometer



  1. Begin by adding your butter to the stock pot, melt it down then add your diced onion, celery and garlic. Make sure you thoroughly cook the onion/celery and garlic to avoid any bitterness in your stock. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, and four cranks of your pepper mill.
  2. Now once your veggies are cooked add all of your chicken broth, and stir. Let cook for another five minutes then remove from heat to blend. If you are using a stand alone blender let mixture cool for a couple minutes before you pour into blender to prevent injury. If using an immersion blender, carefully blend your mixture until all of the celery and onions have been broken down to create a smooth broth. If you want you can store this while you work on the next parts of your recipe. 
  3. Now take out a cast iron stock pot or a tall stock pot and pour 1/3 cup oil into it. Begin to heat it up but do not exceed 350 degrees. Once your oil is heated to 325 turn the heat down on your stove top to prevent overheating.  
  4. Thinly slice your Shiitake mushrooms, to do this turn the mushroom onto its top and cut vertically. make sure to cut a couple pieces with the stem in tact, this is for appearance. 
  5. When your mushrooms are sliced and your heat is hot throw a couple mushrooms into the heat, you want them to turn a golden brown, this will take a minute or two. After one minute, flip the mushroom over and after the second minute is done remove from oil. If you think it needs longer let them fry longer. 
  6. place fried mushrooms onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. 
  7. Now take your butternut squash and cut it in half. remove the seeds from the squash and put squash into microwave with a glass of water. 
  8. Microwave squash until it is easily pierced by fork. 
  9. let squash cool for 5 minutes, then use a perfectly rounded teaspoon to scoop perfect rounds out of the meat of your squash. 
  10. store rounds in container until needed. 
  11. Now add your broth to a stock pot and bring to a boil. 
  12. add your rice mixture and spend the next 45 minutes occasionally stirring until fully cooked. (Note: you may need to add more water as you go along. At 30 minutes do a taste test to see if rice is cooked. Then continue testing each 5 minute interval after that. 
  13. when the rice is cooked make a cornstarch mixture with your cream and cornstarch, add to your rice. 
  14. Mix in cornstarch mixture and Parmesan. 
  15. cook for 1-2 minutes (until cornstarch mixture has thickened) 
  16. Spoon into bowl/plate, place butternut squash around risotto, and sprinkle your cooled fried shiitake mushrooms on top. 
  17. Enjoy!