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Summer Time – Nasturtium Pearl Barley Risotto

Thank you all for your lovely messages about our new website. We would like to thank Blue Baboon for all of their hard work. We are really pleased with the site, and its new layout!

We have had a fantastic summer so far, although one too many days in a hot kitchen, and one too less on the beach – but thats life!

We grew a whole bed load of edible violets and nasturtiums this year. We have been throwing them into salads and using them as garnishes on canapés and platters for all of our jobs so far.

The nasturtiums have gone crazy this week, with the flash of rain and weekend of sun. One recipe that is bound to wow your guests is as follows:

Nasturtium Pearl Barley Risotto:

Serves 4


Salt, White Pepper, and Black Pepper

1 white onion diced

2 cloves of garlic diced

olive oil

100g unsalted butter

20 nasturtium flowers – petals only

100ml of vermouth

1300ml vegetable stock

2 tablespoons of mascapone

2 nasturtium flowers to garnish along with parmesan shavings


Place the stock in another pan and bring to a simmer.

Heat the olive oil in a deep non stick pan (big enough to fit the barley and stock in), along with 25g of the butter. Once hot add the onion and cook slowly for 20 minutes on a medium heat until the onion is translucent and soft. Season with salt and white pepper. Add the garlic and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

While you are doing this make the nasturtium butter. Place the butter and the petals in a food processor and mix until the petals are crushed and the butter takes on a orangey hue.

Once the onion and garlic mix is cooked add the pearl barley and stir until all of the grains are covered with a slight slick of oil. Add the vermouth, there should be a sizzle when it hits the pan. If not turn the pan up slightly. Cook for 1 minuet until the alcohol is cooked off. Now add the stock ladle at the time. Stir between additions and wait for the stock to be absorbed before adding more.

After 20 minuets of cooking the pearl barley it should be almost ready, but it can take up to 35 minutes. When you are ready to serve stir through the butter and mascapone, along with salt and pepper for seasoning.

Place in warmed bowls. Top with parmesan shavings and a flower.