Crab Avocado Barley Risotto

Straight from the chef at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, this airy yet filling dish gives risotto a new look with creamy avocado and tender crab.

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Serves: 8


  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock or broth
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp minced yellow onion
  • 8 oz pearl barley
  • 2 tbsp dry white wine
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 1/2 oz grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 oz organic unsalted butter, soft
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 5 oz cooked lump crabmeat (Chef Recommends: Dungeness or blue crab varieties)
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. In a small pot, bring stock to a simmer; keep hot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat 1 tbsp oil on medium. Add onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.
  3. Add barley and stir to coat in oil. Add wine and saute, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Stir in 1/2 cup stock and bring to simmer, gently stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed. Working 1/2 cup at a time, add remaining stock, gently stirring constantly and ensuring stock is absorbed between each addition, about 30 minutes total. (NOTE: Depending on consistency of mixture, final 1/4 cup stock may not be necessary; risotto is done when barley is soft.)
  4. Remove from heat and stir in avocado, cheese, butter, dill and remaining 3 tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, top with crab and lime juice.

Nutrients per serving (1/2-cup barley risotto): Calories: 245, Total Fat: 12 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 26 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 9 g, Sodium: 204 mg, Cholesterol: mg