Barley, Shiitake Mushroom and Spinach Pilaf

  • Yield 4 servings

Barley is enhanced by the earthy flavors of shiitake mushrooms and caramelized onions.


1 cup pearled barley
4 cups water or canned vegetable broth or homemade vegetable stock
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 teaspoons dark Oriental sesame oil
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
8 ounces white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon low-sodium tamari
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. To make Barley: Place ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  2. To make Pilaf: Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add canola and sesame oils. When oils are heated, add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until well browned. Add a sprinkling of water to pan to prevent sticking, if necessary.
  3. Add garlic, and shiitake and regular mushrooms. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, another 3 minutes. Add spinach leaves, cooked barley and sesame seeds; continue to cook 3 to 5 minutes or until barley is heated through and spinach is wilted. Season with tamari and cayenne pepper.
  4. One-pot variation: To make this a meal in one, add 8 ounces of diced firm tofu after adding the mushrooms.



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