2 of our favorite barley recipes:
Barley Pilaf with Peas, recipe clipped from the box of Quaker Scotch Brand Quick Pearled Barley, found on a recipe website apparently intact: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1650,157176-229202,00.html
Barley, Spinach, and Mushroom Pilaf, from the Brand Name Cookbook by Sandra Woodruff, R.D.
Link to the recipe does cite one of Ms. Woodruff's other books which includes the same recipe, http://recipes.familyeducation.com/si...
(I hope I have followed Chowhound posting guidelines!)
If you have a rice cooker, barley works very well in it. It is then ready to put in soups, stews, orzotto, salads, etc. It can also be frozen once cooked, if you don't want to eat it all at once. I'd likely not put it in salads, but anything cooked would be fine.
I also do a "Barley and Cheese" dish I really like.
Just consider it as a rice equivalent. It can be a good side dish, simmered in broth or water until it is tender. It takes about as long to cook as brown rice, but though it will continue to swell when left in a finished soup, it won't turn to mush like noodles or rice will. But don't be in a rush to use it up - barley lasts a very long time. At times, I've taken a year or more to finish an open bag, with no deterioration of quality.
I like a 3 to 1 ratio with rice and the addition of barley plus small amount of orzo-all lightly browned first in butter/olive oil then a chix broth s&p. great side dish with bite.
beef and barley soup among my favorite soups ever albeit too warm still, more Autumn/Winter meal with crusty buttered bread and simple salad greens lightly dressed.
We just had some vegetable soup for dinner, and I threw that last half cup of barley into it and let it cook for another 45 minutes. Perfect.
Here's a mushroom-barley casserole by James Beard. It's similar to one that Justin Wilson used to make that I loved:
What I like to do with barley is make it into Sherpa rice which is served at the Nanthahala outdoor center in NC. It is 2 parts brown rice with one part lentils and one part barley. Serve with steamed veggies and cheese. It is wonderful, healthy and filling after a day of paddling.
I also love barley as an alternate grain to rice. Wash the barley before using. I like to pretty finely chop some carrots, onion, and celery, brown a bit, and add some thyme before starting the barley. Use a stock strong or mild as you prefer, you can do it risotto style with stirring. I like the barley a little "al-dente."
i love to sub it for rice in rice pudding... barley pudding :)
(i used to like to use it in a post-weightlifting meal... mix it with cottage cheese, a dash of cinnamon, a little sweetener and vanilla, then nuke in the microwave for a minute or two until gooey...)
great as a breakfast cereal too, instead of oatmeal. mix it with some fruits. or cook it in fruit juice, or a mixture of fruit juice and milk... add some nuts if you like or if you prefer to go savory some herbs and chopped tofu or egg (whites)...
Here's another longtime family favorite. Easy and super tasty! Real comfort food; healthy and satisfying and wonderful in chilly weather, too. I could eat this once or twice a week, with a little good sweet butter and some Herbamare on top.
Lentil and Barley Stew
Another all-time great from Oma.
1/4 C butter
1/3 C chopped onion
1/2 C chopped celery
2½ C skinned, chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
2 C water
1/2 C dried lentils
1/3 C whole barley
1/2 t sea salt or Herbamare
1/8 t each rosemary and black pepper
1/3 C shredded carrots
In a large heavy pot, melt the butter and sautee the onion until it is tender.
Add celery, cook 5 more minutes, and add all else except the carrot.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 25 minutes or until done, stirring occasionally.
Add carrots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.