About this recipe:Like rice, barley can be cooked as fluffy, separate kernels, or made risotto-style, as in this delicious dish – gently and steadily stirred with liquid to produce a smooth, creamy texture.
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
150g (5½oz) pearl barley
¾ tsp dried sage
¾ tsp dried thyme
750ml (1¼ pints) water
1 tsp slivered lemon zest
pepper to taste
4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
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Method Prep:10min › Cook:55min › Ready in:1hr5min
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion is tender and golden brown.
Add the carrots to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add the barley, stirring to combine.
Add the sage, thyme and water, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for about 45 minutes or until the barley is tender.
Stir in the lemon zest, pepper and Parmesan until evenly combined. Serve hot.
Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.
Some more ideas
*This recipe is also great made with long-grain brown rice instead of barley. *Flavour the pilaf with other dried herbs such as basil and oregano. Substitute ¾ tsp of each of these for the sage and the thyme.
Barley is abundant with lignans, which are phytochemicals that help lower cholesterol. The plant sterols found in barley may also assist in reducing total and LDL cholesterol. Barley is also rich in selenium and vitamin E.