barley pilaf
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
It’s a grain that’s often overlooked but barley’s health benefits are numerous. I use it in soups, salads, and as a rice substitute for risotto.
  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced Brussels sprouts
  • 1 to 2 slices of bacon, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ orange bell pepper, chopped
  • large handful of baby spinach or rocket
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or to taste)
  • feta cheese, crumbled
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, add 3 cups of water and barley. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for at least 25 minutes (stirring occasionally).
  2. While the barley is cooking, grab a large frying pan and place over medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil and bacon. Cook bacon then remove from pan. Toss in onions and Brussels spouts and cook until soft. Move to one side of the pan and add peppers and garlic. Cook until soft. Stir to combine onions and sprouts and toss in cooked bacon. Then add spinach and allow to wilt.
  3. In a large bowl add cooked barley along with veggies. Add balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Top with crumbled feta cheese.
Recipe by The Culinary Chase at