Lemony Vegetable Barley Pilaf

"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."
photo by Tea Jenny photo by Tea Jenny
photo by Tea Jenny
photo by Annacia photo by Annacia
Ready In:




  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.

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  1. Jo_C.
    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.
  2. Annacia
    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.
  3. Tea Jenny
    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


<p>Growing up in Michigan, I spent my summers at my cottage in the Northern part up by Traverscity. On a lake, big garden which had all the vegetables you could imagine. My mom taught school, so summers were our vacation time. Gramps and I fished all the time so fresh fish was always on the menu, perch, blue gill, walleye and small and large mouth bass. At age 5 I learned how to clean my own fish and by 10 I was making dinner, canning vegetables and fruits, making pies and fresh breads. Apples fresh picked every fall, strawberries in June and July, Cherries at the Cherry Festival in Traverscity. So fresh foods always were a big part. Mom worked as a teacher during the year so dinner was more traditional with pot roasts, meatloaf, etc, but it seemed we always had fresh fruits and vegetables as part of the meal. Mom also didn't use as many spices as I do, but times were different back then. <br /> <br />So ... My motto is ... There is NO Right and NO Wrong with cooking. So many people thing they have to follow a recipe. But NO ... a recipe is a method and directions to help and teach someone. Cooking is about personal tastes and flavors. I love garlic ... and another person may not. I like heat ... but you may not. Recipes are building blocks, NOT text ground in stone. Use them to make and build on. Even my recipes I don't follow most times --They are a base. That is what cooking is to me. A base of layer upon layer of flavors. <br /> <br />I still dislike using canned soups or packaged gravies/seasoning ... but I admit, I do use them. I have a few recipes that use them. But I try to strive to teach people to use fresh ingredients, they are first ... so much healthier for you ... and second, in the end less expensive. But we all have our moments including me. <br /> <br />So, lets see ... In the past, I have worked as a hostess, bartender, waitress, then a short order cook, salad girl in the kitchen, sort of assistant chef, head chef, co owner of a restaurant ... now a consultant to a catering company/restaurant, I cater myself and I'm a personal chef for a elderly lady. I work doing data entry during the day, and now and then try to have fun which is not very often due to my job(s). <br /> <br />I have a 21 year old who at times is going on 12, aren't they all. Was married and now single and just trying to enjoy life one day at a time. I'm writing a cookbook ... name is still in the works but it is dedicated to those people who never learned, to cook. Single Moms, Dads, or Just Busy Parents. Those individuals that think you can't make a great dinner for not a lot of money. You can entertain on a budget and I want people to know that gourmet tasting food doesn't have to be from a can of soup or a box, and healthy food doesn't come from a drive through. There are some really good meals that people can make which are healthy and will save money but taste amazing. So I guess that is my current goal. We all take short cuts and I have no problem with that - I do it too. I volunteer and make food for the homeless every couple of months, donating my time and money. I usually make soup for them and many times get donations from a local grocery stores, Sams Club, Walmart etc, with broth, and vegetables. It makes my cost very little and well worth every minute I spend. Like anyone, life is always trying to figure things out and do the best we can and have fun some how along the way.</p>
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