Butternut Squash & Barley Risotto with Crispy Sage


  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • 1 cup hulled whole-grain barley, rinsed

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 4 cups peeled, seeded and diced butternut squash

  • 1/2 cup fresh sage

  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  • 3/8 tsp (1/4 + 1/8 tsp) sea salt

  • 1/4 cup raw unsalted pine nuts

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large saucepan on medium, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add barley and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute.

  2. Add broth, bay leaf and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender yet still slightly chewy in center, about 50 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, toss together squash, sage, remaining 1 tbsp oil, pepper and salt. Arrange in a single layer on prepared sheet. Bake, without turning, until squash is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with pine nuts. Bake until pine nuts are golden, about 4 minutes more. Transfer sage to a plate; set aside.

  4. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add three-quarters of the squash mixture to the barley. Once cooked, remove from heat and break up squash completely with the back of a wooden spoon. Add cheese, stirring to combine. To serve, top with remaining squash mixture and sage.