Barley with wild mushrooms Barley with wild mushrooms Israeli Kitchen Barley is a wonderful substitute for pasta, containing nearly half the daily allowance of several major vitamins and nutrients. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Barley with wild mushrooms

A savory whole grain and mushroom medley packed with umami that acts as a unique complement to any entrée.

  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour

The oft-ignored barley is a wonderful replacement for pasta, offering a slightly nutty and al-dente taste with the health benefits of a whole grain. Barley contains nearly half the daily allowance of several major vitamins and nutrients, including manganese, selenium and fiber, and about 20 percent of the daily dose of vitamins B1, B3 and magnesium.

Adding rich, flavorful meaty-tasting wild mushrooms, along with the fried onions and garlic, adds a generous dose of deliciousness – otherwise known as umami – to the simple little barley grain. This side dish looks and tastes great with a variety of entrees, including chicken, meat, fish or sautéed veggies.

So give that ‘ole pasta a rest and grab a bag of barley next time you’re at the market. While you’re at it, check out the selection of wild mushrooms and go all out with a little bit of everything. If your local shop has dried wild mushrooms, follow the simple steps listed on this site to rehydrate them, and save the flavorful water for your next bone broth.


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups pearl barley
  • 5-6 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons onion soup mix or consommé
  • 2 pounds any variety wild mushrooms, such as shiitake, porcini or chanterelle
  • 1 tablespoon dried herbs (dill, parsley or thyme)
  • Dash of black pepper


Bring water and consommé to a boil in a medium pot over high heat.

When water boils, add barley and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and let cook for an hour or until water has evaporated.

Heat oil in frying pan. Dice onion and garlic and add to pan. Heat for 5 minutes or until golden.

Rinse, pat dry and dice mushrooms.

Chopped wild mushroomsWild mushrooms such as shiitake, porcini or chanterelle are great for this recipe. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Add to pan. Stir and cook 5 minutes more.

When barley is cooked, add onion mushroom mixture. Season with black pepper and dried herbs.

Related Topics: Vegetarian

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