turnip barlotto close up

Turnip and barley are great partners in a winter’s broth and in this barlotto, provide a deliciously warming hug in a bowl, particularly suited to wet and cold nights. Try experimenting with other root veggies; roasted beetroot added in the last five minutes adds a great flavour and pinkness to the barlotto.

Serves 4


1 litre vegetable stock
20g of butter
2 tablespoons of oil
2 onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
350g turnip/swede, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
300g pearl barley
a good handful of parsley, finely chopped
50g hard cheese, plus a bit extra to serve
a few gratings of nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper


In a small saucepan, over a low heat, gently simmer the stock. In a larger saucepan melt the butter alongside the oil over a medium-low heat. Add the onions and let them sweat gently for around ten minutes before adding the garlic and turnip and stirring for a few minutes.

Next, add your barley to the pan and give it a good coat with the butter and oil.  Stir for a couple of minutes.

Now start adding the stock, roughly a ladle at a time, as you would for a risotto, stirring often. Before you add your next ladle make sure the first is absorbed. It takes around 35 minutes for the barley to cook to a tender texture where it still has a hint of bite. The turnip will be deliciously tender by this time as well.

Stir in the chopped parsley and cheese for the last minute over the heat followed by the salt, pepper and a good helping of grated nutmeg. Serve it with another sprinkling of cheese and perhaps a winters salad.

turnip barlotto