dinner · Grains and Beans · Lunch · Recipes

Cooking Barley

Barley… Something grey on the store’s shelves which you are usually passing by because… It’s just a barley, what I could do with it? Soup? No, thanks, I would rather chose the most comfortable rice.

By the way,  just a simple barley is rich in micro- and micro elements,  1 cup (157g) has only 130 kcal 4 g protein and 24 g! of fiber!  And also, rich in molybdenum, manganese, and selenium, a good source of copper, vitamin B1, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, and niacin. Is in it a good reason to know what to do with the barley?

How to cook? 

Option 1. One cup of barley cover with 2 cups of hot water, add salt, bring to boil, keep simmering till it reaches tenderness. While it’s cooking, prepare simple lemon vinaigrette (10 ml of lemon juice, 30 ml of olive oil, crack pepper,  a few drops of Worcestershire sauce). When It’s cooked, cover the barley with the vinaigrette.

Option 2. Cook barley the same way as written above. When it’s cooked, cover with melted batter and chopped green herbs like parsley, tarragon, fennel  greens, green thyme.

Option 3. Chop and sautee white onion till tenderness, add to barley, cover with 2 cups of boiling water, add a spoon of butter, bring to boil, keep simmering till tenderness.

Option 4. “Risotto style”. Chop shallot, garlic. Melt butter in a pan, infuse the butter with garlic and shallot, when it smells, add a cup of barley, coat them in the butter till the batter is completely absorbed, add 1 cup of water, bring to boil, keep simmering and adding water till the grains are cooked and tender.

What to serve with?

Barley, in my opinion, perfectly combined with any types of proteins and could be significant addition to vegetarian  diet too.

Vegetarian option.

  • Cook barley, make simple lemon vinaigrette, add chopped fennel’s greens.
  • Make a fennel puree by cooking tops of fennel (the green part which you are usually through away) in a small amount of water, adding salt and butter. When the fennel is soft, puree it with a blender, push through a strainer to get a nice texture and eliminate the chewy parts.
  • Chop you favorite vegetables and sautee them in garlic oil. Do not forget to salt.
  • When plating, put the puree on the plate, put the barley over and add the vegetables!


Fish option. 

  • Make cream sauce. Heat up 1 cup of 35% cream, add lemon juice, chopped dill, salt, pepper. Bring to simmering but not a boiling. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of cornstarch in a cold water and add to the cream, so the consistency’ll get it’s viscosity, when the sauce is ready, take it off the heat.
  • Preheat the oven, cover your deep oven pan with a foil, place your fish (salmon/trout), cover with the sauce, close the foil,  put in the oven 400F for 15 minutes.
  • Cook the barley and coat with lemon and dill vinaigrette. Serve with the fish and sauce.

Chicken option. 

  • Simply roast whole chicken. Cover chicken with a good amount of butter (100 g), stuff with couple springs of rosemary and thyme, 2 cloves of garlic, put in the oven 400F for 45-60 minutes.
  • Cook barley coat with lemon tarragon vinaigrette. Serve as a side dish.

  Beef option.

  • Take a beef chunks suitable for stewing, cover with flour and sear in a small amount of butter till the golden-brown color of the beef. Take off.
  • Sautee 1/2 cup of mushrooms.
  • Start to cook barley in “risotto style”, in the after bringing to boil the first cup of added water or beef stock, add your  seared beef chunks and mushrooms. Keep adding  water or beef stock as needed till barley is cooked.


Bone Appetite!

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