Black Barley with Mushrooms and Roti-Style Yoghurt Flatbreads

Black barley is a terrific find, it is nutty and dark in flavour and cooks easily in 35 – 45 minutes. I came across it at Goodies and Grains in Adelaide Central Market while I was stocking up with a few items. It is an African barley just becoming available more locally. It is excellent in soups, salads, vegetarian “stews” (let’s call it a ragout) like this one and even with tostadas and such like. As a base for other ingredients, it is excellent – try Black Barley with this Charred Okra dish.

Today we are using it to replace pearl barley (you can do that in any recipe). Ottolenghi has a recipe for Barley and Mushrooms in his book Plenty. We first made this around 2011, when my daughter and her family came back from London. There was much celebration. Barley and mushroom is a soothing combination – it is well known in Italy where a type of risotto, orzotto, is made from barley and mushrooms. The delight of the dish is mainly a textural thing, with the barley both gently breaking and enhancing the mushroomy gloopiness. This recipe uses 3 types of mushrooms, and today we used porcini, shiitake and pearl mushrooms, as I had pearl mushrooms left over from making a Soba Noodle and Mushroom dish.

Ottolenghi’s recipe also has some roti-like flatbreads made from wholewheat flour and mixed with yoghurt. These are rolled out and cooked on a tawa, flat griddle or frying pan. They are super easy to make and go with any dish similar to this one. You can also use any Mexican or Middle Eastern flatbread to compliment the barley if you are out of time to make your own. Or some frozen roti from your Indian Grocery.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

It is a very wintery dish – perfect for brisk Autumn days through to Winter.

Similar recipes include Mushrooms with Black Glutinous Rice, Charred Okra with Barley, Barley and Porcini Risotto, and Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms.

Browse our Black Barley recipes, all of our Barley dishes and our Mushroom recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through his Plenty More book. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.
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Barley and Root Vegetable Soup or Stew with Umeboshi and Sesame

Healthy, warming and nourishing, a perfect soup for the coldest of days.

This recipe has macrobiotic overtones, but feel free to play with flavours in any way that you wish. It has the interesting flavours of sesame oil, tamari and umeboshi vinegar.

The recipe comes from a scribbled recipe on a piece of paper, as many of my recipes do. I have collected them over millennia, it seems. To the original recipe I have added some olive oil as the stated sesame oil was not enough for sautéing the onions and vegetables.

Would you like to try similar recipes? Try Adzuki Bean and Barley Soup with Pumpkin, Parsnip and Barley Soup with Sage and Garlic, Barley Soup with Vegetables, and Farmhouse Barley and Vegetable Soup.

You might also like to try Yoghurt and Barley Soup, Pearl Barley and Porcini “Risotto”, Barley Pilaf, and Barley and Red Kidney Beans.

Or browse all of our Barley recipes, and all of our Soup recipes. Or explore our easy Mid Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Barley and Root Vegetable Soup or Stew with Umeboshi and Sesame”