OK, I'm listening, I'm listening! Barley is good, so let's get this Barley started!
I had a craving for mushroom risotto and I also had a craving for a Greekish salad. And, I wanted all of this together, so I skipped the cheesiness in the barley. I'll use wine and cheese on another day when I'm feeling a little more Italian, but for today this was a perfect dinner that gave me that yummy-risotto-feeling -- the Lazy Way! If you've ever made risotto from scratch, you know that is a hands-on situation. It requires delicate babysitting skills. This is quick, stress-free and healthy.
1 pkg of Trader Joe's Chopped Onion, Shallots & Garlic
1 pkg Trader Joe's10 Minute Barley
1 pkg Trader Joe's Sliced White Mushrooms
1 pkg Crimini Mushrooms
1/2 Quart os Trader Joe's Vegetable Broth
1/2 Bottle of a rich beer...I used Negra Modelo (you can use a cup of white wine if you prefer)
Salt + spices you crave
1 pkg Fresh Parsle
Optional: 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
Sautee onion mixture in just a wee bit of olive oil until soft in a medium sized pot. While that's cooking, chop up all the mushrooms in small pieces. Add the mushrooms, and let them sautee until soft and liquidy. Chop up the parsley for later.
Then add broth and beer (or wine), as well as any salt and/or spices you wish. Then, lower heat, throw in the barley. Let it sautee for 10 minutes, then turn off heat, throw in chopped parsley and let it sit for another 10 minutes while it steeps and becomes beyond delicious.
I didn't add parmesan tonight because I knew I was serving this with a feta salad and knew the flavors were going to work well together. On another day, I would add shredded parmesan.
Instead, the salad I made to go with it, simply based on today's cravings:
I chopped all that up and threw in lemon juice, some red wine vinegar and salt.
May I tell you how these two dishes go more than splendidly together? Thank you!
Buon Barley Appetito!