What pairs with almonds and barley?
for a cool salad, any number of veggies - zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, etc.- finely sliced, toasted almonds, shallots, golden raisins or currants, preserved lemon rinds (finely sliced), mint or parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper...
warm - with leeks, carrots, celery, thyme
other things i feel pair well (combine some or not):
cottage cheese - i used to make a quick "rice" barley pudding using cottage cheese, cooked barley, sweetener, cinnamon and vanilla... was good for after a workout ....when i didn't have pesky alleries/intolerances.
You could go sweet and add apples, maple syrup (or honey or barley malt) and raisins or dates and maybe some nutmeg and cinnamon. Or go savory and make it into a sort of risotto with things like leeks, carrots, white wine and a bit of parmesan. Or add all sorts of mushrooms, sauteed onions and a little thyme and have a sort of mushroom barley soup gruel.
Are there any further parameters? Must it be vegan? Must it use only Dark Ages ingredients? Must it be edible by someone dentally-impaired? Are you part of a larger Dark Ages cuisine revival?