High in soluble fiber, barley has been shown to lower cholesterol. Its natural creaminess makes it an excellent substitute for Arborio rice in traditional risottos. Use regular pearl barley, not quick-cooking barley, in the following recipe, which takes about 50 minutes to complete from start to finish.
2 Tbl olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup pearl barley
1 c dry white wine or white cooking wine
5 cup vegetable broth, heated
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp sea salt to taste
1/4 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
1/2 lb fresh asparagus, cooked
black pepper to taste
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
In large skillet heat oil over medium heat.
Add onion cook about 3 minutes.
Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds.
Add barley and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.
Add wine, thyme, salt and lemon-pepper, cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes.
Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, waiting till almost completely absorbed before adding more.
Add asparagus with the last 1/2 cup ofbroth and cook, until barley is tender but still chewy and the mixture is creamy.
Season with black pepper. Serve and garnish with almonds.