Fresh Herbed Barley Pilaf

Serves: 4 to 6

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These ingredients are:
vegetarian iconVegetarian vegan iconVegan corn-free iconCorn-free dairy-free iconDairy-free egg-free iconEgg-free peanut-free iconPeanut-free soy-free iconSoy-free wheat-free iconWheat-free

This recipe can be served as a savory side dish or as a stuffing for poultry or squash.


  • 1 to 2 cups sliced crimini or wild mushrooms Add to list
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil Add to list
  • 1 small onion or shallot, diced Add to list
  • 1 small leek, thinly sliced into half-moons Add to list
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh herbs, such as thyme or sage Add to list
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh parsley and/or fresh chives Add to list
  • 2 cups cooked hulled barley Add to list
  • Optional additions: dried fruit such as cranberries, currants, or cherries; sliced or crushed nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts Add to list


Heat a saucepan until a few drops of water will “dance” on it. Add mushrooms and dry-sauté until they have released most of their juices, about 6 minutes. Add oil, onion or shallot, leek and herbs; sauté until tender and beginning to brown. Stir in cooked barley and toss together until heated through and flavors are blended.


More about barley

Barley is one of the most ancient grains in existence. It has provided sustenance all over the world for thousands of years. It is also a key ingredient in beer making.

Pearl barley which has had its outer hulls polished off is the most common. Hulled or hull-less is the whole grain with only the outer inedible layer removed. It is chewier and heartier with more vitamins and minerals for overall wholesome nourishment.

Soak barley for a few hours or overnight before cooking. (This isn’t necessary but it gives a tender, easy-to-digest product.) Hulled barley can take from 45 to 90 minutes to cook. Pressure-cook a large batch, about 3 cups raw, and use it for soup and a few other treats.

Reheat for a breakfast porridge; stir in molasses, date pieces and ground cashews.

Recipe by Marie Donadio, PCC Cooks instructor

Learn more about our recipes. View guidelines »

More about: barley, herbs, mushrooms, whole grains


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