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The rich, nutty flavor of barley pairs wonderfully with savory Parmesan and fresh spring veggies in this hearty, and satisfying grain dish.


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 leeks, white and light green part only, thinly sliced

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 cup pearl barley

½ cup dry, white wine

1 quart reduced-sodium, fat-free, organic vegetable broth, simmering

1 tablespoon no Trans fat margarine

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces on bias

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8 ounces mushrooms, sliced thinly

½ cup frozen peas

⅓ cup Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped

½ teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

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  1. Heat olive oil in large sauté pan; add leeks and carrots; sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until tender.
  2. Add barley; stir until well coated.
  3. Add wine and stir until completely absorbed.
  4. Add 2 cups of hot broth, simmer uncovered until almost all liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally. Add another cup and repeat process until barley is almost tender. (If more liquid is needed, use hot water.)
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan, melt margarine over medium-high heat. Add asparagus; sauté 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and peas; sauté 5 minutes or until just heated through and tender. Add vegetables to barley.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    Recipe courtesy California Health and Longevity Institute.