Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Barley with Seared Asparagus and Tomatoes

rounding out our fabulous cooking class at irwin street cooking school, is a dish i have strong feelings for. i love barley. it's devil side tricks my brain into thinking i'm having a pasta but it's angelic side says i'm high fiber & high protein & i'm here to aid in sculpting those buns of steel. well, either way it's a great alternative to pasta that even picky eaters {read: my husband} will eat!

{barley with seared asparagus & tomatoes}

ingredients {in order of use}

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups barley
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 lemons, just the juice
  • 2 teaspoons italian spices
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • parmesan cheese, shredded

1. in a medium to large stock pot, cover bottom of the pot with olive oil & bring to med-high heat. sauté onions about 3 minutes {or until clear}, then add garlic & cook for another 3 minutes. add barley & toast in pan until it begins to smell nutty. add the stock, lemon juice and spices {thru salt & pepper}. cover & cook about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until barley is tender (al dente).

2. meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons olive oil & 4 minced garlic cloves in a cold pan. heat over medium heat until the oil is hot, then add the asparagus. tossing or stirring occasionally, cook the asparagus until crisp tender & bright green, about 5 minutes. add the tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomatoes are a bright red but not bursting, 3-5 minutes. remove from heat.

3. when barley is done, drain off any excess liquid and toss in the asparagus-tomato mixture. transfer to a serving dish & garnish with shredded parmesan cheese. serve warm!


  1. Betsy, I love reading your blog and look forward to making some of your delicious recipes. This one looks particularly fabulous! Do you purchase your barley at the regular grocery store or are you using something freshly milled, etc? Just curious because I've never cooked with it before, but have been wanting to try it. Thanks for all your posts...a huge help to this busy new mom!

    Stephanie Thompson Bennett

  2. thanks stephanie!! i just purchase it at kroger or's usually in the rice aisle or with dry beans. any type will work! let me know how it turns out!!


  3. I love this recipe and make it all the time!


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