Great recipe. I am always looking for more healthy but equally tasty versions of my family's favorite recipes. My husband's risotto is hands-down the best I've ever had, but we all came back for seconds on this one, too (even my 16-month-old). I made it with minor revisions: (1) I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil for sauteing the onion (grabbed it on accident). (2) I used ~4.5c chicken broth, and probably ~2-3c vegetable broth. (3) I added ~1 Tbsp of mascarpone cheese along with the knob of butter and parmesan at the end. (4) I skipped the dried thyme and black pepper, and didn't add salt at all (it didn't need it). My hubby and 5-year-old skipped the veggies (I kept them on the side), but the littlest one and I gobbled them up. It took me longer than 20 min to make (more like 1-1.5h). I started it out on low (after adding the initial 2 c of broth), but bumped the heat up to medium low after ~30min on my husband's suggestion. It helped. The barley was perfectly done at the end - slightly chewy, and a lovely caramel color.
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Great recipe. I am always looking for more healthy but equally tasty versions of my family's...