This recipe serves 6 to 8 as a side dish and can easily be scaled up or down. With mushrooms, onion, garlic, sage, and dairy-free butter, this simple recipe for orzotto is the best kind of vegan comfort food!
Heat a large (5.5 qt.) sauté pan or stock pot over medium heat. Add the oil and onion to the pan. Stirring occasionally, cook until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until their moisture is released, 5 to 7 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and the garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the rinsed and drained barley to the pan. Stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add the broth and sage and bring to a boil. Stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until most of the broth has been absorbed, about 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and stir several times. Continue to cook until some of the remaining liquid has evaporated (skip this step if you don't see much liquid left in the pan). During this time the mixture will start to look creamier. Stir in the milk. When the mixture has thickened slightly and there is no longer a significant amount of broth remaining, turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Taste and season with black pepper and another pinch of salt, if needed.
Top with vegan cheese, if using, and serve warm.
Store leftover orzotto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.