Posts Tagged ‘Barley’

Fruit From The Land + The Sea

Hi people!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  We ended up with beautiful weather here, which made for a plethora of outdoor activities.  I was in absolute heaven and will continue to be, as the weather is suppose to hold through the week.  Talk about Spring fever.

This is looking to be a really busy week for me, so posts are going to be speedy.  That being said, I’ll jump right in …


Cornmeal Crusted Shrimp with Butternut Barley Risotto




Risotto (the LAND part) –

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 scallion, white part, finely chopped (slice + reserve green part for later)
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • S+P, to taste
  • Extra water, if needed for the barley

**Note** I roasted a squash earlier in the day for the next two ingredients.

  • 3/4 cup pureed butternut squash
  • 3/4 cup cubed butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms  

With a small amount of EVOO in a large saucepan, saute onions and scallions until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.  Add barley and wine to pan; simmer until wine is almost absorbed.  Add chicken broth, thyme, S+P; cover and simmer for 35 – 40 minutes.  Add extra water, if needed, to the barley while cooking.  Once barley is tender, add butternut puree, cubed butternut and mushrooms; stir well.  Cover and keep warm until shrimp is ready.

 Shrimp (the SEA part) –

  • 1/2 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (I also had a handful of frozen/thawed scallops that I used as well.)
  • 1 tsp. EVOO
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • Pinch of black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel.  Place shrimp in a large bowl with EVOO and mix well.  In a plastic or paper bag, combine the cornmeal, Parmesan and spices.  Shake to mix well.  Add the shrimp, about 5-6 at a time, and shake until well coated.  Place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with PAM.  Once all shrimp have been coated, spray with PAM and place in oven.  Cook for 15 minutes, undisturbed.

To serve, spoon barley onto plate and top with shrimp.  Garnish with reserved sliced scallion and shredded Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!


That’s all, folks!  I hope you have a wonderful Monday.  Ta-ta for now …



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Let’s Talk About Barley



Happy Wednesday, you fabulous people.  I hope everyone is having a good week.  Can you believe this freakish weather all over the country?!  Snow, arctic cold, more snow … and then there’s California with their record highs today – meaning 80’s, people.  Lucky dogs.  I’m really not complaining.  After all, I have been bragging about the great weather we’ve been having so far this winter  in the Carolinas … until now.

Anyways, I want to talk about BARLEY.  Barley is a chewy cereal grain with a rich nut-like flavor and has an appearance very similar to wheat berries, although slightly lighter in color.

Barley is very traditionally found in a big pot of soup (and also beer!), but it can also be fabulous as a pilaf, “risotto”, or as a base to a tasty chilled salad. As flour, barley is an excellent addition to baked goods. Cracked barley makes a delicious hot cereal.

Similar to most other grains, the degree of processing done to prepare the grain affects the overall nutritional value.

Hulled barley is the closest form of the grain to its’ original state. As the name suggests, the outermost hull of the grain is all that gets removed, leaving a chewier, more nutritional grain. In this form, barley is considered to be a whole grain.

Pearl barley involves the “pearling” or polishing off of the outermost layer of hull, which could result in the removal of part of the grain’s bran layer and possibly some of the endosperm. The removal of these two parts of the grain would make this form of barley less nutritional and, thus, would not be considered a whole grain.

Barley flakes (similar to rolled oats) and barley grits can be made from hulled, hulless, or pearl barley, and can be quite different in nutrient content for this reason.

Besides being an excellent source of fiber, barley is high in selenium, plus a good source of phosphorus, copper and manganese, all essential trace minerals. Like vitamins, minerals function as co-enzymes, enabling the body to perform its functions including energy production, growth and healing.

As with all grains, store barley in a tightly covered glass container in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator.


Without further ado, I present to you our dinner …


Barley Risotto with Roasted Winter Vegetables




  • 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 3/4 cup chopped cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup frozen baby Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • S+P
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups less-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 3/4 cups uncooked pearl barley
  • 1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded (optional)
  • 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine all vegetables, except chopped onion, in a large bowl; add 1/2 tbsp. oil, S+P.  Toss to coat and spread on a prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring after 10 minutes.

Heat remaining 1/2 tsp. oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté 4 minutes, or until browned/tender.  Add 1 1/2 cups broth and barley; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and barley is al dente.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup broth as needed, as liquid is absorbed. 

Stir in roasted vegetables, shredded chicken (if desired) and Parmesan cheese.  Portion onto plates and sprinkle with toasted nuts.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from here.


I added the chicken mostly for Devin’s benefit … he tends to freak out if he doesn’t see some sort of meat on his plate, whether is be poultry, pork or other.  This original dish didn’t include it, so it could easily be turned into an excellent + satisfying vegetarian meal.  Just make sure to sub out the chicken broth for vegetable broth and voila!


I hope everyone has a good day today.  Ciao. 

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