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Barley with sun-dried tomatoes

Tue 03 Apr 2018 00:21:22 PDT
Barley is among the most ancient grains cultivated and consumed by people in the earliest civilizations of the Fertile Crecent. It remains a very widely grown crop, though most of it is used for livestock, fish farming and production of beer.

Nonetheless barley is a wonderful grain to grace our meals. It has a distinct nutty flavor and great chewy texture that compliments many main dishes. It's also a nice break from common fare like rice or pasta.

Several types of barley are available on store shelves. Pearl barley is probably the most common, where the bran layers have been removed. Whole barley has the bran left intact. "Pre-cooked" varieties are partially cooked pearl barley, and take only 1/3 to 1/2 the time of "standard" pearl barley to prepare.

This recipe calls for cooked barley, and assumes you've prepared the barley according to package directions. So go ahead and buy some barley on your next trip to the grocery store, it's generally pretty inexpensive—very much worth the price of admission for this little culinary adventure.


  • barley, cooked 4 cups
  • garlic, chopped 3-4 cloves
  • green onion, chopped, 1/8" 2
  • jalapeno, seeded and chopped 1 small
  • olive oil 2 tbsp
  1. Barley should be drained and cooled. Reserve cooking water, it may be useful later.
  2. Remove seeds and membranes from jalapeno before chopping. (Unless you want to have a hot, spicy dish.)
  3. In a medium to large saucepan heat oil over medium heat, saute garlic, jalapeno and onion for several minutes.
  4. Add barley to pan, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. If barley gets too dry, add a tablespoon or two of the cooking liquid.
  • lemon juice 2 tsp
  • lemon zest 1/4 lemon
  • basil, dried 1/2 tsp
  • mushroom powder 1 tsp
  • tomato, sun-dried, finely chopped 1-2 halves
  • salt, pepper to taste
  1. Add lemon juice, zest, basil, mushroom powder to the barley and stir to mix in thoroughly. Barley may need a considerable amount of these ingredients to have good flavor. Don't be afraid to add more if necessary.
  2. Mix in a small amount of the sun-dried tomato at a time until flavor is satisfactory. (Dried tomato can be strong-flavored, take care not to overdo it.)
  3. Adjust to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Will keep warm for quite a while, just need to watch that it doesn't dry out—add more liquid if necessary.
When cooking barley make it tastier by putting some flavorful vegetables like half an onion, carrot, celery stalk, a couple of garlic cloves in the cooking water. No need to chop up the additions because you'll probably want to remove from the barley when it's done.
Categories: grains

About Thinair Recipes

Recipes developed with low-sodium diets in mind—so easy to use!

Here's a quick guide:
Recipes have one or more “boxed” ingredient lists grouped with step-by-step instructions, for example:

  • garlic, chopped 3 cloves
  • chicken stock 2 cups
  • ...other ingredients...
  1. Saute garlic in oil until soft.
  2. Add chicken stock to pan...
  3. step...

Ingredient boxes show what you'll need for the numbered steps. Not too complicated!

BTW “salt” in our recipes refers to salt substitute, i.e., potassium chloride, KCl. (Since KCl may not be healthy for some people, ask your doctor if it's OK for you to use it.)