The Barsotto (barley risotto)


Barsotto with Crispy mince soya and griddled spring onion

Barsotto with Crispy mince soya and griddled spring onion

For 6 people




  • 500g barley (55p)
  • 200ml Alpro single cream (£1.00)
  • 6 spring onions (45p)
  • 125g butter (soya butter)
  • 5 small green chillies (10p)
  • White ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 100gr white onion
  • Fresh thyme
  • 2 stock cubes

For the topping:

Trimmed spring onions

Trimmed spring onions

  • 50g soya mince (25p)
  • Black pepper & salt
  • Vegetable oil

Cost: 1 bag of mince soy meat costs £1.49/300g and lasts a long time as it is dry. Cost for this dish £2.35 or 40p per person.


Start by rehydrating the mince and make 1L of stock in the process.

Place the mince in a bowl with the two stock cubes. Pour on it one litre of boiling water and leave to hydrate for 10-15 minutes.

What this will do is allow the mincemeat to absorb a bit of flavour while hydrating and also, the stock will have as after taste of mince.

After rehydrating, sieve to separate the mince from the stock. Make sure to squeeze water out of the soya as it is a bit like a sponge and does absorb a lot of liquid. Set the stock aside and set the mince aside for later use.

Now in a pan with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil fry the now rehydrated mince with black pepper from the grinder and salt. Fry until the mince become completely dry and brown. It will go through stages. The mince will first absorb the oil in the pan, don’t worry keep stirring. Then it will completely dry out then, start rendering back the oil it absorbed earlier. By the time oil starts to be visible again in the pan, the mince should be browning. The whole process will take about 10 minutes. Do not leave the pan unattended. You must continually stir. Once he mince is brown, remove from the pan and set aside for serving later. Do not cover completely as it may lose its crispiness.

Now onto the Barsotto.

Starting on the Barsotto

Starting on the Barsotto

In a pan, heat about 110g soya butter with chopped onion, garlic, chilli and the thyme at the same time. Vegan butter has more water content than the regular butter so, place the butter onion and thyme together in the pan for 3 minutes until the water from the butter has evaporated and the onion starts browning.

Now add the barley without rinsing it as we need all the starch to make the Barsotto creamier. So, add the barley, white pepper, stir and add the stock. Stir and place the lid on the pot. Leave to cook for 20 minutes. Check the pan every 5 minutes and stir to avoid the barley sticking to the bottom. If you have ran out of stock add water. And each time you add water, stir the content of the pan well to distribute the moisture.

After you have cooked it for 20 minutes, add 200ml cream stir will and cover for 5 minutes. Meanwhile wash the spring onions, cut the green ends and chop roughly. Add the chopped herbs in to the Barsotto, stir, cover and remove the pan from the heat. This is ready.

Now, griddle the spring onions stalks.

As they are already washed and trimmed, rub them generously with butter. Dust with black pepper from the grinder and salt on all sides.

Heat the griddle pan, make it really hot and line the spring onions on it. If it is hot enough, it should be smoking. The smokiness will add to the taste. Allow to cook 2 minutes and half on each side.

Heat the griddle pan. It should be very hot. Once it is very hot, carefully line all the spring onions on it.

If necessary, press them down to make use of the heat.

Griddled and ready

Griddled and ready

Only griddle the spring onions if you are about to serve as they do not taste good reheated.

Serve the dish as suggested topped with the crispy soya mince and enjoy!

Don’t forget to warn you guests about the whole green chillies. 🙂

Until next time!


Barsotto with Crispy mince soya & griddled spring onion

Barsotto with Crispy mince soya & griddled spring onion

See the starter and dessert for this vegan menu by clicking on the links.


2 thoughts on “The Barsotto (barley risotto)

  1. Pingback: The yogurt knitters set… AKA Vegan 3 course | Made By Hortense

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