A warm, hearty salad is a great wintertime dinner option. Warm Barley Salad with Buttered Mushrooms and Shallots has a bright citrus-y burst of flavour too!
When the colder months arrive, and you’re still trying to eat a little better, but at the same time, you’re trying to keep warm and eat meals that are hearty, Warm Barley Salad with Buttered Mushrooms and Shallots is the perfect solution.
Most of us love a good salad. I have two salads that I tend to go back to over and over again. The first being the classic Caesar, and the second being another classic – the Cobb Salad. I can eat those salads every single day and never grow tired or bored of them.
However, Caesar and Cobb salads are not necessarily healthy. Yes, they’re both a better choice if you compare them to a Big Mac Combo, but they can be rather high in calories, fat, and sodium.
When we make salads at home, I tend to just cut up and wash a bunch of ingredients, place them all into individual bowls, and place them on the table. I’ll lay out a minimum of two salad dressings and let everyone assemble their own meal.
I’ll put out ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, radishes, peppers, cabbage, cheese, croutons, onions, chicken, tofu, nuts, seeds, etc.
When it comes to my Warm Barley Salad with Buttered Mushrooms and Shallots though, I don’t have to do all of that work. This salad is a complete meal on it’s own. It’s filling and no need to do all of that prep with what seems like a million vegetables!
There are ways you can speed this up too and make it a great weeknight dinner option. You can certainly cooked the barley ahead of time and refrigerate it. You can also use that 10-minute barley from Trader Joe’s. I always have a few packages of that in our pantry to make life a little easier.
The mushrooms, shallots, and garlic can certainly be cooked a day or two in advance. Just be sure to re-heat them in a large skillet before tossing it with the re-heated barley.
There is really only one steadfast rule with this Warm Barley Salad with Buttered Mushrooms and Shallots recipe. If you really like the bright flavour and burst of citrus, be sure to use a fresh orange and squeeze it. Don’t use orange juice from a jar.
If you don’t like citrus, you can certainly leave it out completely. If I were leaving out the orange juice, I would toss a bit of parmesan cheese into mine to make it extra savoury! Doesn’t that sound delicious?
Whatever you decide, you’ll end up with a hearty dinner that’s vegetarian, delicious, filling, and super healthy! After all, salads don’t have to be green to be good!
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Warm Barley Salad with Buttered Mushrooms and Shallots
- 500 grams mushrooms, cremini or mini portobellos are best - sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 large shallots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rings
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 6 cups pearl barley, cooked, drained, and cooled
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup orange juice, fresh
- Cook the pearl barley according to package instructions and set aside to cool.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil. Add half the salt and half of the ground black pepper. Cook until deep brown in colour - about 15 minutes. Transfer mushrooms and all of the butter/oil into a glass bowl. Set aside.
- Add the shallots to the skillet, along with the remaining butter, salt, and ground black pepper. Saute the shallots until they are deep brown in colour - about 15 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook into the shallots for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the shallot and garlic mixture to the bowl with the mushrooms. Be sure to use a rubber spatula to scrape all of butter out of the skillet.
- Transfer the cooled barley to the warm skillet. Stir the barely around, using the residual heat from the pan to slightly warm the cooked barley.
- Add the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic. Toss in the fresh thyme leaves, parsley, and the orange juice. Toss to combine and serve immediately.
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