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HEART Insight:
doi: 10.1097/01.HEARTI.0000426276.01882.83

Barley and Asparagus Risotto

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This recipe is reprinted with permission from Recipes for the Heart, Copyright © 2013 by the American Heart Association. Published by Publications International, Ltd. Available on, while supplies last.

Serves 6; ⅔ cup per serving

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1 tablespoon olive oil

⅓ cup finely chopped shallot

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1 cup uncooked medium pearl barley

¼ cup dry white wine (regular or nonalcoholic)

2½ cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth and ¼ cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth (if needed), divided use

2 cups trimmed and cut asparagus (1-inch pieces)

⅛ teaspoon pepper

⅛ teaspoon dried marjoram, crumbled

2 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

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In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the shallot for 2 minutes, or until slightly softened, stirring frequently.

Stir in the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Stir in the barley. Cook for 3 minutes, or until lightly toasted, stirring frequently.

Pour in the wine. Cook for 1 minute, or until the wine has evaporated, stirring constantly.

Pour in 2½ cups broth. Bring to a boil, still over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the barley is just tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the asparagus, pepper, marjoram, and remaining ¼ cup broth if needed. Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes, or until the barley and asparagus are tender and the liquid has evaporated. Just before serving, sprinkle with the Parmesan.

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Cook's Tip

When fresh asparagus isn't in season or simply for variety, replace it with almost any other vegetable.

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Nutrients per Serving

Calories 172

Total Fat 3.0 g

Saturated Fat 0.5 g

Trans Fat 0.0 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g

Monounsaturated Fat 2.0 g

Cholesterol 1 mg

Sodium 61 mg

Carbohydrates 30 g

Fiber 6 g

Sugars 2 g

Protein 6 g

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Dietary Exchanges

2 starch, ½ fat

© 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.