Subbing in barley for refined Arborio rice adds both an appealing nutty flavor and extra nutrition. If you prefer not to cook with wine, substitute a mixture of 1/2 cup vegetable stock and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Karen Rankin
Also appeared in: Health, April, 2019


Credit: Greg DuPree

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Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring broth to a boil in a saucepan over high. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.

  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add onion, carrots, and garlic; cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent and soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add barley; cook, stirring constantly, until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Stir wine into barley mixture; let come to a boil over medium-high. Boil, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in salt. Pour in enough of the warm broth (about 3 cups) to cover mixture. Let come to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed, 5 to 6 minutes. Cook, stirring very often, until barley is tender, adding remaining broth 1 cup at a time, waiting until most of the broth is absorbed between additions, about 50 to 55 minutes total.

  • Stir asparagus into barley mixture; cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until barley is very soft and asparagus is crisp-tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, tarragon, and pepper.

Nutrition Facts

302 calories; fat 8g; cholesterol 8mg; fiber 10g; carbohydrates 48g; sugars 10g; sodium 682mg; iron 3mg; calcium 130mg.