Although I’ve been meaning to make barley for quite a while–due to its high nutritional content and supposed cholesterol reducing properties–I only recently picked it up on a recent trip to get sour cream at the Polish store near my apartment. And I’m so glad that I did because it tastes absolutely wonderful as a substitute for risotto, with its nice, almost nutty flavor and kind of chewy texture. With a fiber content that’s off the charts coupled with protein-packed beans, this is a perfect “meatless Monday” dish that will leave you satisfied and feeling good.
- 2 onions, julienned
- olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1/2 of a lemon’s rind, grated
- 2 cups of barley
- 1/2 cup of white wine (a sauvignon blanc or riesling would do nicely)
- 2 liters of water, more or less
- 1 tablespoon of Vegeta, plus more to taste
- 2-400g cans of white beans, drained
- watercress or other shoots like peas
- pumpkin seed oil
Boil the water in a kettle, or separate pot on the stove.
Add a little olive oil and saute the onions with a few shakes of thyme in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Once they are nice and fragrant, a few minutes later, add the garlic. Next, add the barley and the lemon rind and cook, stirring frequently, for about a minute. Add the wine. After a few seconds, add about 1/4 of the water and the Vegeta. Stir every once in a while and continue to add more water once the barley soaks up the other. When the barley is just about done, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and add the beans. Cook for another couple of minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed into the barley.
Serve topped with watercress and drizzled with pumpkin seed oil.