Category Archives: barley

Barley with Stuffed Portobellos

This past weekend Sam and I drove into Virginia, it was beautiful to see the rolling hills- especially with the leaves beginning to change colors.  Absolutely breathtaking.  This means fall is here, summer has officially ended.

While living in the midwest I noticed that fall tends to come and go quickly.  School starts, football games begin…and winter abruptly begins.  Here, in Virginia, fall lingers.  I’ve learned to love it- it gives us more than enough time to try out many warm, filling and familiar dishes.

Whenever I’m in the mood for a natural, earthy flavor when cooking dinner I tend to add mushrooms into the dish.  Sometimes we’ll make a portobello mushroom burger- there are so many flavors in each bite.  So when I saw this dish in Vegetarian Times- I knew we had to try it.  Each bite has the perfect blend of leeks, pine nuts and portobello mushroom; the barley allows this dish to be a very filling dinner.

Barley with Stuffed Portobellos
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times (Oct 2011)

cooking spray
4 portobello mushrooms, stemmed
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp thyme, chopped
1 lb fresh spinach
4 oz goat cheese, chopped and softened
3 tbsp pine nuts

Cook 1 cup of barley in about 2 cups of water until it is tender.  Drain, and divide between 4 plates.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Brush mushrooms, on both sides, with 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Also, sprinkle the mushroom caps with 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper.  Arrange the mushroom caps on the baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes.  Turn the mushrooms over and roast for another 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to soften.  Once the mushrooms are done, plate them on top of the barley.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Then add onions, leeks, garlic and thyme.  Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the leeks are tender.  Then, add spinach and cook for another 10 minutes until the spinach has wilted.  Finally, stir in goat cheese and pine nuts.  Keep stirring until all of the cheese has melted and has been incorporated into the mixture.  Remove from heat and add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp of pepper.

Finally, fill each portobello mushroom with the leek-spinach mixture until it is spilling out.

Barley Salad with Veggies

Rain was predicted for today, and thunder.  Instead, it’s hot outside here in DC!  Summer is just around the corner, yay!  We’ll enjoy it for today- outdoors!

Every month 2 of my friends and I meet up at each other’s places and make dinner.  We switch off between our homes and the themes for the dinners, and the person who hosts also does the cooking.  Others bring the wine/beer.  Every month I really look forward to my time with A* and C* just because we always end up having fabulous conversations, and have tons of fun.  =)  Last night I hosted, and we had an array of wonderful food (if I do say so myself), which I will write about later in future posts.  But for now, I’ll give you some hints: dinner rolls, a Nutella bar, orzo salad and vegetable soup with parsley crisps.

Although, wonderful company makes food taste even better!

Barley Salad with Veggies
Adapted from: Cooking Light

1 cup uncooked pearl barley
3 cups arugula, lightly chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large roasted red bell pepper, chopped
1 15oz chickpeas, rinsed and drained
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup pistachios

Cook barley according to package directions.

Once the barley is cooked, combine: barley, arugula, red bell pepper, roasted red bell pepper and chickpeas in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl mix: lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and stir.  Sprinkle the top of the salad with pistachios.

Carrot, chickpea and barley Soup

Yes, another soup- but it’s so good!  I came across this soup in a magazine a number of years ago, but have perfected it over the years.  It’s easy and delicious, especially during the winter when it’s cold outside.  The soup is creamy, filling and I think it actually tastes better the next day.

Carrot, chickpea and barley soup

3 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
1 cup carrot juice (V8 can but substituted)
1/4 cup barley, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cups diced carrots
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp ground pepper
3 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp grated Parmesan

In a medium pan combine broth, carrot juice, barley and chickpeas.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add carrots and return to boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, take out about 1 1/2 cup of solids and place in a medium bowl.  Using a fork, mash the mixture and then return to pan.  Stir in vinegar, pepper and parlsey.  Divide the soup into 4 bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.