Breakfast Barley

Barley is a tragically overlooked grain. Available in nearly every grocery store across the country it is the essence of simplicity -- toothy, rustic nutty and delicious. In this version, you boil the barley as you would pasta, in a generous amount of salted boiling water. While we prefer it with a little bit of firmness, you can keep cooking it until it reaches the texture you prefer.

For breakfast serve it as you would oatmeal, warm with milk, cinnamon and nuts or as Sally prefers, mixed with a dollop of ricotta cheese and maple syrup. 

Cook to Cook: Pearl barley is what you want for this recipe. It’s widely available and because the hull and most of the grain’s bran has been polished away, it cooks quickly.

Keeps covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained
  • 3 to 4 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Instructions

1. Place the barley, water, and salt in 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, until tender. If the barley starts to dry out before it’s fully cooked, simply add more water.

2. Drain in a strainer. Serve hot or at room temperature. Barley reheats beautifully.

From The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, Clarkson Potter, 2008.

Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 
Makes 3-1/2 to 4 cups
  • Inside the factory farm, where 97% of U.S. pigs are raised

    While doing research for his book Pig Tales, author Barry Estabrook visited a farmer in Iowa who raised 150,000 pigs a year. What he saw at this factory farm -- which is the way 97 percent of pigs in the U.S. are raised -- is a far cry from Old MacDonald's.

Top Recipes

Author uncovers Jackson Pollock's hidden recipe collection

Jackson Pollock was famous for creating abstract paint-splattered canvases, but he had a domestic side as well. "He was a man who loved puttering in his garden, gifting his vegetables to his friends, baking loaves of bread and apple pie," says Robyn Lea, author of Dinner with Jackson Pollock.