Mushrooms and barley are a match made in culinary heaven. Best known for their pairing in comforting soups, they make an equally good duo in this hearty side dish, embellished with lots of onion and fresh dill. Brown mushrooms yield a richer flavor than white, so give them a try. Photos by Evan Atlas.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 3 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions, quartered and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 to 10 ounces cremini, baby bella, or white mushrooms
- 2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill or 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, optional
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine the broth or water with the barley in a medium saucepan. Cover and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 35 to 40 minutes. Taste, and if you’d like a more tender texture, add another 1/2 cup of water and simmer until absorbed.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide skillet. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté slowly over low heat until the onions are lightly and evenly browned.
Add the mushrooms and about 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook over medium heat until the mushrooms are wilted, about 8 minutes.
Add the cooked barley to the skillet and stir together with the onion and mushroom mixture. Stir in the dill, and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, then serve.