A simple barley pilaf with mushrooms is a nutritious and warming accompaniment to a meal. Dark and hearty, it is definitely a winter dish. A sweet note is added with the sultanas and texture with the walnuts. Easy to cook, it can be made beforehand and gently warmed when you need it. It also makes a great breakfast dish if, like me, you prefer to explore savoury breakfast items rather than sweet options.
Serves: quite a hearty dish, this will serve 4 – 6, depending on how you use it
1 Tblspn olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped finely
0.5 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
4 prigs thyme or 0.5 tspn dried thyme
0.5 cup pearl barley
3 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup sultanas
0.5 lemon or lime
In a large saucepan melt 30g of the butter and the olive oil. Stir in the sliced mushrooms, chopped onion, walnuts or pecans and thyme. Cook until the onions and mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the barley and cook for 3 minutes, stirring.
Stir in the stock, sultanas and remaining butter. Cover and cook for 35 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Add a good squeeze of lemon or lime. Season to taste. Stir, plate and serve.
recipe notes and alternatives
Grate a little orange rind over the top of the pilaf.
Alternatively, stir through chopped parsley before serving.
Any left overs can be made into a salad. Stir through some chopped green onions (spring onions in Australia), oven roasted cherry tomatoes, olives, grilled eggplant and zucchini slices, chopped red peppers, and lots of herbs, and add a lemony dressing.