Wild Mushroom Barley

Wild Mushroom Barley

The other night on the way to dinner in our neighborhood, I saw a sign outside a restaurant that said “30 days till spring.”

Yes, it’s a few days early for that proclamation, but close enough. And who’s counting?

We all can agree that we’re in the tail end of winter.

The sun seems to be lingering a bit longer later in the day than it did in December and January.

Daylight Savings Time is marked on the family calendar we have on our chalkboard wall.
 
I am ready.

Wild Mushroom Barley

To me asparagus is the true first sign of spring and the surplus of fruits and veggies ahead.

For now, I am keeping content with root vegetables and lots of mushrooms.

I have always liked mushrooms, but I have been very into cooking them lately. More than usual.

From quesadillas to spaghetti, mushrooms are super quick to sauté in a skillet, and they have so much flavor.

I usually stick to button, cremini or portobello mushrooms, but it’s been a while now that I have been eyeing more exotic types at the grocery.

For this wild mushroom barley, I use a half-pound package of mixed mushrooms that includes oyster, enoki and beech mushrooms.

You can pick even more varieties if you want. Just make sure to slice the larger ones and break up the bunches of smaller ones.

Wild Mushroom Barley

How To Make Wild Mushroom Barley

I start by simmering the barley on the stove. Of course, barley is not the only grain that will work. You can substitute quinoa, farro or wild rice.

Once the barley grains are tender, I sauté the mushrooms in olive oil and then add garlic, salt and lots of pepper. 

After that, I fold in the barley followed by a generous handful of spinach. It doesn’t take long for the greens to wilt.

To finish, I stir in what seems like an excessive amount of chopped parsley and minced chives, but you really can’t go overboard on fresh herbs for this wild mushroom barley.

The recipe will serve 2 as a vegan main or 4 as a side.

Wild Mushroom Barley
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Wild Mushroom Barley

Wild Mushroom Barley
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 24 1x
Scale

Ingredients

1 cup barley
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces wild mushrooms (oyster, enoki, beech, portobello, shiitake, cremini), sliced, if large or separated, if in bunches
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 handful (1 ounce) baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, combine the barley and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes until tender. Let stand for 2-3 minutes and fluff with a fork.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to brown. Stir in the garlic and continue cooking for a few minutes until the mushrooms are caramelized and fragrant.

Fold the barley into the mushrooms followed by the spinach, letting the leaves wilt. Stir in the parsley, chives, salt and pepper.

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