Friday, April 27, 2012

Three recipe ideas for Barley

I've been cruising on whole grains all week; barley, millet, oats and quinoa (thanks for your previous quinoa post!). The feature grain of my spring pantry is a big jar of pearled barley. Here are three favorite ways I made it this week.

Breakfast Cream of Barley

This is a hot cereal recipe for one serving. Double or triple for a crowd.

1/3 cup pearled barley
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup milk of choice (I prefer rice milk, but could also use almond, soy or dairy here)
plus extra milk for blending
a sprinkle of sweet spices (your choice, any combo cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves)
a small handful of dried fruit, soaked in hot water 10 minutes (raisins, or cranberries, or tart cherries)
maple syrup, to taste

Rinse the barley in a sieve under cold water. Combine barley, 1/2 cup water and 3/4 cup milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover partially and let barley simmer until soft 20 to 25 minutes for pearled barley (double the time for hulled barley). Puree the cooked barley with your handstick blender or a regular blender (keep the lid open just a tad for blending hot liquids) adding extra milk to achieve an easy-blending consistency (texture should be similar to cream of wheat). Stir in your soaked fruit, and top with maple syrup.


The following two recipes are inspired by the Eating Wisely piece on whole grains in the March Yoga Journal.

Cranberry Herb Barley Salad

1 cup pearled barley
3 cups water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Rinse the barley in a sieve under cold water. Place in a medium pot with the water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat 20- 25 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together in a medium bowl the olive oil, vinegar, cranberries, chives and parsley. Drain any excess liquid from the cooked barley, fluff with a fork and stir into the cranberry mixture.

Barley Bowl with Asparagus
Note: the original recipe is a soup, called for 6 cups of veggie broth. I prefer this dish thicker, like a rice bowl. Feel free to adjust the broth addition to our preference, more broth to make it more like a soup.

1 cup pearled barley
3 cups water
Sea salt
2 cups veggie broth
1/2 a bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal in 1/2 inch pieces
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup miso paste
chopped fresh parsley

Rinse barley under cold water. Place in a medium pot with 3 cups water and a pinch of sea salt. Boil for  20 to 25 minutes (twice as long if you are using hulled barley). When barley is cooked through, add the veggie broth to the pot, and spread the asparagus on top. Cover with a lid, bring it all to a boil again and cook long enough for the asparagus to steam and turn a bright green. Remove from heat. Dissolve the miso paste in a bit of warm water, and stir into the pot with the barley and asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

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