I love barley — it’s nutty flavor and hearty texture makes it work well with everything from fish to short ribs! It’s also a healthy grain and seasoning the water when I cook it deepens the flavor and for the kids I can ‘dress’ it up with chia seeds or shredded cheese. I make barley on the weekends due to it’s longer cooking time, but it’s easy to set up to cook while you’re roasting a chicken or something else is in the oven or slow cooker. Total time about 45 minutes. 6 – 8 servings.
1 cup of pearled barley
I add about 3 1/2 cups of water and then drain the barley at the end. It absorbs a bit more water when cooking than other grains.
For flavoring the cooking water (optional):
- 1 garlic clove (peeled, uncut)
- 1 dried or fresh chili pepper (uncut) Note: it will not make the barley spicy, just add flavor.
- Generous (about 1 tbsp.) shake of turmeric
- Generous (about 2 tsp. shake of cumin)
- Salt (about 2 – 2 1/2 tsp — to accommodate for the extra water.)
- 1 tbsp. of Olive Oil
Steps to Put This On Your Table:
- Bring (flavored water or plain water with salt & olive oil) to boil in a small but tall saucepan or stockpot (using high heat).
- Pour the barley (very slowly, it will bubble due to the salt) into the boiling water.
- Stir the mixture very slowly, for about 30 seconds.
- Bring back to a boil (about another minute). Then cover the pan, vent the top slightly (leave a small hole for air to escape), reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 38 – 40 minutes. There will still be water at the top — before you drain the water, to make sure it’s done test the barley to make sure it’s firm but fluffy in texture & easy to chew.
- Carefully drain the water from the barley and discard the pepper & garlic clove. If you’re not using it right away cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and then put the top back on to keep warm.
Serve & enjoy! Leftovers can be saved in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 or 3 days, reheat over low heat with about a ¼ cup of water (or broth).
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