Step by step

Combine all the ingredients and season with olive oil and salt.

Both barley and spelt are commercially available in two variants, one de-husked and one pearled. The de-husked barley or spelt should be soaked for 12 hours in cold water, then boiled in water for about an hour and then used according to instructions in the recipe that you wish to make. The pearled version does not require soaking, it’s sufficient simply to rinse and then boil it in water for a shorter time. Twenty minutes for the spelt and about twice that for barley will be enough. If you have a pressure cooker, you can further halve these times.
With barley and spelt as the main ingredients, you can make alternative but equally delicious "cousins" of the famous risotto, known as ‘orzotto’ and ‘farrotto’. When making these alternatives we advise using pearled version of the grains, and not the de-husked types.