Swede & Thyme Barlotto

Cooking time
Serves4 people

Cook your pearled barley risotto-style and you’ve got ‘barlotto’, our new favourite Sunday roast side. This swede-studded version goes particularly well with our Burn’s Night Cock-a-Leekie Chicken roast – or dish it up as a vegetarian main.


  • 1.2 litres veg or chicken stock
  • 1 onion
  • ½ a swede, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
  • A little oil or butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 250g pearl barley
  • A splash of whiskey or white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • A grating of nutmeg or pinch of mixed spice
  • A handful of thyme leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
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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.
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