Pearl barley is a handy grain to stock in the pantry to help build dinner fairly quickly.
Pearl (or pearled) barley:
- IS NOT whole-grain. Most of the outer bran has been removed. This enables quicker cooking and easier digestibility.
- IS NOT gluten-free.
- Can be effortlessly cooked (1 cup added to 3 cups boiling water) in a covered pot simmering on low heat for about 40 minutes. This yields 3-4 cups of cooked barley.
- Is a solid source of nutrition, including manganese, selenium, niacin (B3), B6, and iron.
Let’s get the barley cooking and start building our dinner bowls.
A mandoline is a handy tool for thinly slicing the peeled turnip and potato. I found if I cut the peeled potato in half, both halves fit into the food holder to be sliced in half the time. I used the thinnest slice setting. After slicing, the turnip was readily stackable so I could cut the slices into quarters. The potatoes were a floppy, unruly heap. I mostly cut the potato slices into quarters, just not as uniformly as the turnip.
If you have an herb garden, pick some fresh herbs. I chose some red shiso leaves and a bit of chives. Chop these up and add to the large sliced and diced tomato you have set aside in a bowl.
Drain the barley when it is done cooking. It should be a little chewy, not a pot of mush.
In a large skillet over medium heat, saute about 2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots in 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. I used expeller pressed safflower oil.
Stir in the barley, potato, turnip, tomato, fresh herbs. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Divide into 4-6 bowls and enjoy.
If you have leftovers, enjoy as a cold lunch with diced avocado or chopped steamed greens.