"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lemon Barley Pilaf: French Fridays with Dorie

barley pilaf
Lemon Barley Pilaf

I cook a lot of brown rice and make pilafs often, so when I read over Dorie's recipe I decided to simplify it and cook the barley in a rice cooker like I do with most grains. I have used pearl barley before in soups and the texture is terrific, but I found I kept having to add more water to the barley because it was just too hard. Even fully saturated with 4 cups of broth/water to 1 cup of barley I found it to be too chewy. It reminded me of kasha which I do not love. I think the flavoring and the vegetable mixture is wonderful, and I will use these ingredients in a brown rice pilaf, but for myself and my family barley pilaf was not a hit. 

Here is my recipe for the pilaf based on
 Dori Greenspan's Lemon Barley Pilaf recipe.

LEMON BARLEY PILAF
by Diane Balch

Ingredients: 

1 cup of cooked pearl barley or other grain: rice or quinoa would work well.
4 cups of chicken broth
2 tablespoons of butter
1 bay leaf
1 carrot minced
1 red pepper minced
4 scallions minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon's zest

Directions:

1) Cook grain according to directions in chicken broth with the bay leaf. If you are using pearl barley I recommend 4 cups of broth to 1 cup of barley. 

2) Sauté vegetables in butter putting into skillet in this order: scallions, carrots, red pepper until they are limp.

3) When grain is done mix it with the vegetables and add the lemon zest. Makes a great side with chicken or fish.

Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 


21 comments:

  1. I kind of took the recipe in a totally different direction - I just couldn't wrap my arms around the recipe as written this time of year.
    I like that you cooked your grains in the rice cooker - I love mine & throw almost anything I can in there :-)

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    1. I wanted to check out the way you made the pilaf. Are you posting it tomorrow?

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  2. Sorry that you didn't love the texture. It looks tasty to me!

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  3. Barley is a rather chewy grain, but it looks wonderful and colorful!

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  4. I don't mind chewy...but if anything mine was a big gummy and the texture of risotto in a way...but chewier. Which was good as a base for fish but wasn't very pilafy.

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    1. I think of risotto as having a creaminess this had chew.. not for me.

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  5. I couldn't buy Barley around here, so I bought Bulgur. If I read your post that was à betterchoice. I would like to try barley at à point though.

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    1. Does bulgur get softer than barley with more of a rice texture?

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  6. I didn't mind the texture, but I thought the flavor was lacking! On to next week :)

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  7. I wondered about using the rice cooker for this. Maybe next time I'll try that!

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  8. I'm not a fan of this recipe. Maybe I'll try a rice cooker next time.

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    1. The rice cooker won't help if you don't like the texture. It is just an easier way to cook it without having to watch something on the stove.

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  9. So sorry it wasn't a hit. It looks delicious!

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  10. Sorry to hear that that you didn't love it. You might want to consider giving pearl barley a try, which will cook up a bit quicker and not be quite so chewy. I tend to throw it into the pot when I make brown rice because they seem to cook up in the same time and I like the contrast of having two grains in there.

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    1. I did use pearl barley which I really like in soup but not on it's own. Good idea to mix it with rice since I still have a big bag of it. Thanks.

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  11. I used quinoa, since my partner has celiac disease. I had to play with the recipe a bit, but liked the results.

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  12. I used regular barley because my store didn’t carry pearl…it cooked up very nice with just the right amount of firmness! I actually enjoyed this dish! Yours looks so tasty…love that you used a rice cooker to cook the barley! Sorry the texture was not so good for you.

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  13. the rice cooker just boils it for you - it wont change the texture at all. you might like regular barley though! :)

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  14. Diane, Although your Pilaf photographed beautifully and looks delicious, I'm sorry this wasn't a favorite for you. Now you know. Honestly, it may have been the weather. I'm just not into the Pilaf- hot sidedish mood right now, are you? Poor choice for July, I think. As you know, I went cold and liked it so much. I had read your Post prior to making this dish because yours came out on Thursday morning so I cooked mine much longer. Thanks for the heads up on that. By the way, I loved your Games Post. We are a Games and Jig Saw Puzzle family and I forwarded to my daughter. We're all pretty good sports but we are a competitive family and are obnoxious when we win!!!

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    1. I did like it more as a cold leftover. Some one put shredded raw carrot and some lighter looking vegetables. Yes, barley is a cold weather grain. Thanks you for the comment on the game post. Just like getting out doors with the family, playing games together is becoming a lost art. The conflicts that arise along with the laughter are incredibly bonding experiences. How are you doing? It must still be a hard time for you?

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