July 5, 2011 by Johanna Burani
I’ve just returned from our summer visit to our home in Friuli, Italy. As always, I spent loads of time with my friend, Vanda. When we are together we inevitably start talking about food – new recipes, seasonal ingredients and things like that. This time was no different. Since Vanda is not a pasta enthusiast (silly girl!), we discussed the different ways we use barley in our homes. She uses it in place of arborio rice because, being diabetic, she’s found that her blood glucose levels are much better with barley consumption. On the plane ride home, I started thinking about this recipe. I made it for dinner the other night and we liked it. I hope you will too.
- 4 oz. mushrooms (cultivated, baby bella, cremini)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery (no leaves), finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup barley, uncooked
- 4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken), heated
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Warm a medium sized non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Pour olive oil into a large non-stick fry pan. Heat on medium-high for 30 seconds, then add the garlic and vegetables and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
- Add in the prepared mushrooms minus any water that resulted from their cooking. Add the barley and stir the entire mixture thoroughly.
- Pour 2 cups of broth into the barley-vegetable mixture, reduce flame to medium and allow to cook for about 10 minutes or until the broth has been absorbed. Stir occasionally.
- Slowly add in the remaining broth, ½ cup at a time, until all has been used and barley is cooked. This will take another 20 minutes.
- Remove from flame. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle on the thyme and serve immediately.