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Replicating Favorites: Riz Au Lait

July 14, 2011

If you know me, you will know that I don’t often entertain vegan foods (how can you not love meat?).  One item that I do make an exception for is the Riz Au Lait at Le Pain Quotidien.  I didn’t realize until recently that this creamy subtly sweet rice pudding topped with fresh berries was made only from brown rice, agave and soy milk.  While waiting for a cup of riz au lait this week, I decided to try replicating this wonderfully healthy rice pudding and make it my breakfast for these sweltering mornings (replacing oatmeal and that same old boring piece of toast).

Even though the riz au lait at Le Pain only uses brown rice, I wanted to add something a little more.  Pearled barley was recently featured in a recipe that I found in Food & Wine and I remember my mother adding it to sweet desserts while espousing its health benefits to me.  I like it for its nice bite and that is how barley found itself into my version of Riz Au Lait.

The Ingredients

The ingredient list was pretty short – brown rice or brown sweet rice (what I had in my pantry), pearled barley, unsweetened soy milk, agave and berries.

Cooked Barley

The brown rice simmered away in a pot in 1-to-2 ratio with water until all the water has been absorbed.  I think this is my first time making rice on the stove top without a rice cooker!  The barley cooked separately and was drained before combining with the brown rice.  Look at how pretty these are!

The Final Step

I was a little unsure of how much soy milk to use since I added barley on my own whim, thus altering the simple recipe that I had found.  But not to worry, this is such a fool proof dish that it can take the abuse of a little experimentation on the part of the chef.

Adding on a few fresh raspberries and blueberries with a swirl of agave mixed in, this is ready to be devoured hot or cold.  Suddenly, I am excited about workday breakfasts again!

Riz Au Lait with Fresh Berries

Riz Au Lait with Barley and Fresh Berries

  • 1 cup of brown rice or sweet brown rice
  • 1/3 cup of pearled barley
  • 2 cups of unsweetened soy milk
  • Agave
  • Berries
  1. Cook the barley with enough water (adding in a pinch of salt) to submerge for 30 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Bring the brown rice and 2 cups of water to a boil and then simmer on medium until water has been completely absorbed.
  3. Mix in the barley and the soy milk and cook until the soy milk has been absorbed.
  4. Serve either chilled or hot with a drizzle of agave to sweeten and berries and more soy milk on the side.


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