I came across a recipe for a barley risotto and was intrigued enough to go to the store this afternoon to pick up a bag of barley. It got me thinking – the barley is very affordable – per pound it was 53 cents. It is packed full of fiber and protein – and is easily cooked. Do make sure you spread your barley out beforehand and make sure there is no twigs, etc in it. It isn’t as bad as dry beans but you should check it first! Spreading on a shiny metal surface or white cutting board for fastest picking.
For the leeks called in the recipe I used dried ones from Harmony House Foods. I find buying fresh ones wasteful – I don’t use leeks enough and personally….I hate the cleaning one needs to do. Using the dried ones is easy – just soak for 30 minutes and drain off the remaining water. I used 1/2 cup dry leeks and 1 cup cool water. It will give you about 3/4 cup rehydrated leeks.
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup pearled barley
3/4 cup finely chopped leeks (green and white parts)
2 1/2 cups lower sodium vegetable broth, divided
2 cups boiling water
10-ounces frozen green peas, defrosted
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Fresh ground black pepper
Salt, if desired
In a large heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the barley and leeks, cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add in 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth, cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir often.
Add in the 2 cups remaining vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat back to medium and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add in the 2 cups boiling water and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Stir in the peas and let simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until nearly all the water is absorbed.
Take off the heat and add in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add pepper to taste and salt if desire.
Serves 3 to 4.
Herb Crusted Baked Salmon
3 pieces, 4 to 6-ounces each, or 1 long salmon fillet weighing between 12 and 18 ounces
1 tablespoon Dijon or honey mustard
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup Italian seasoned dry breadcrumbs
1 egg white
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Pat dry the salmon with a paper towel and spread mustard over top.
In a bowl mix together the parsley, oregano, thyme and bread crumbs. Blend in the egg white to bind mixture together, crumbling with your fingers.
Spread over the mustard, patting the crust on with your fingers.
Bake for 25 minutes.