Lemony Vegetable Barley Pilaf

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 25 mins

A simple side dish, and what is so nice with this is you can use any vegetables you like. I happen to like asparagus and red pepper, but you could use peas, lima beans, broccoli, etc. It does take 25 minutes for the barley cook up, but it is very easy.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Barley -- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat and add the onion and a little salt and pepper. Saute just 4-5 minutes. Add in the barley and cook another 2-3 minutes until coated with the onion butter mixture.
  2. Stir in the broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce to low, and cover. Cook until just about tender, it will take about 20-25 minutes (follow the directions for cooking the barley).
  3. Vegetables -- Add in the red pepper and asparagus, cover and cook another, 3-4 minutes until tender. The asparagus and red pepper do not take long to cook Remove, stir in the lemon juice, zest, scallions and taste for salt and pepper, mix well, re-cover for a couple of minutes and serve.
Most Helpful

I followed the recipe exactly except for using vegetable stock (to make it vegetarian) and the fact that it needed twice as long as stated for the vegetables to cook at the end (it turned out that they needed to be stirred in, not just tipped onto the top of the mixture to cook). It was very nice and was easy to make. It would be good with any vegetables, and in fact I would add more vegetables than the recipe said the next time. It made 3 small servings as a main course.

Jo C December 11, 2010

Well, I'm going to have to make this again. That will be when asparagus is available at and affordable price here in the Great White North. I loved the flavors even though I had to use peas in the place of the asparagus. I will allow more time to cook the barley next time as I can't say that I'm a fan of it being cooked al dente which it was at the 25 mins (I don't even like spaghetti cooked al dente, lol). Still, barley is a grain that I like a lot and that I'm trying to use more often as it's the best grain choice for diabetics because of it's low glycemic index. Cooking a little longer would move this to a 5 star rating from me. It simple, very tasty and something different on the dinner plate.

Annacia February 22, 2010

This was very nice I used red peppers and garden peas, my barley took a bit longer to cook and I did add a bit more water to it, I think if my barley had been pre soaked it would have cooked much quicker. I did really like this, I use barley a lot in soup but have never used it like this before, I am so pleased I tried it. it was nice and chewy and the lemon juice gave it a nice freshness. I will certainly be making this again. Thank you for posting. made for a rainbow of health the diabetic forum March 2011

Tea Jenny March 15, 2011