Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Barley and Asparagus Pilaf

This week, our Food Network Chef is Robert Irvine. I chose his barley and asparagus pilaf, because I've been on a quest lately to broaden my use of barely in our meals.

I love barley in soups, but typically don't think to cook this grain as a side dish for dinners. This recipe had a great compliment of flavors, and we were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked it.

While I do like Asiago cheese, Parmesan is my favorite, so when I make it again, I'll likely use Parmesan cheese in place of Asiago.

Barley and Asparagus Pilaf - Adapted from Robert Irvine

3 T oil
1 C onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 C barley, quick cooking
4 C vegetable stock
12 asparagus spears, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 C cream
1/4 C Asiago cheese, grated
3 T butter (I omitted)
black pepper, to taste
4 T fresh basil, chopped (I used 1 tsp. dried)

Begin by sauteing the garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat.

Add the barley and stir to coat in the oil.  Allow the barley to begin to toast.

Reduce the heat just a little.  Add the broth little by little stirring and cooking until each addition is absorbed.

Continue this until you have one addition of broth left.  Add this last addition, and add the asparagus pieces at the same time.

Cook for 8 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.

Then, stir in the cheese, cream and pepper.

Serve garnished with basil.


  1. I love asparagus! These recipes look awesome, I can't wait to try them.

  2. I don't think we've ever had barley. I need to branch out from rice and potatoes :)

  3. I bet my husband might like that.

  4. This looks delicious. You know I have never eaten barley, I just might have to broaden my horizons with this dish.

  5. This looks so yummy--almost like the consistency in PF Chang's rice, which I LOVE and could eat a whole gallon of. Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. Oh, I love both barley and asparagus so will try this! It sounds delicious! Thanks!

  7. I wonder if this would work with green beans or peas instead of asparagus? I might need to do some experimenting! I hunted all over the earth to find barley so I might as well use it *L*

  8. That sounds good. I don't think I've ever cooked with barley before-- I should give it a try one of these days.

  9. Looks great! I've never used barley outside of soups either but this looks tasty

  10. This looks so delicious. I have not had barley in a really long time. It is something I like so thanks for the reminder and for a great looking recipe.

  11. This looks fantastic! I want to use barley more as well and this is perfect. I think everyone would like it and the asparagus is big enough for picky kids to pick out :) I never thought of barley and cheese - I am stuck on it in soup.

  12. I am going to have to try this! but use something other than asparagus, we aren't fans here. it looks so good though!

  13. It's been a while since I commented, but I still check out your recipes when I need some inspiration! We tried this dish last week and it tastes fabulous!! I used the grated parmesan like you suggested. Everyone gobbled it up...even my 17 month old toddler. He was actually picking out the asparagus and shoving it in his mouth as fast as he could! Thanks for the great recipe.


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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