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What to do with....Pearl Barley

So, we have this fancy pants, zero-waste gravity wall. Part One: Bring *pretty pot, fill with barley, feel great for reducing packaging footprint. All good so far.

Part Two: Get home, admire pretty jar of barley, scratch head, leave on shelf.

Following week, open cupboard, scratch head, promise to do something amazing with barley. Soon. Following month, give up. Wang barley in bin.

Ok let's sort this. Stand back from the bin. Firstly, reasons to keep barley. It:

  • is rich in many beneficial nutrients

  • is a hunger suppressant, so may help with weight control

  • contains insoluble and soluble fibre to improve digestion

  • may prevent gallstones

  • contains beta-glucans which may help lower cholesterol

  • may reduce heart disease risk

Great. Well. It is if you can figure out what to do with the ruddy stuff. Here's a recipe. You're welcome.

Pearl Barley Risotto with Sage & Parsnip Trust us, we've tried this recipe from BBC Good Food and it's yum. Super easy, super cheap and healthy. Ingredients - veg from Penistone Fruit & Veg

25g Longley Farm Butter, (or dairy free alternative) plus an extra knob to stir through 1onion, finely chopped

4 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks

1 garlic clove, crushed

10 sage leaves, shredded, plus extra to serve 400g pearl barley, rinsed

1.4l hot vegetable stock

25g parmesan (or vegetarian / vegan alternative) grated, plus extra to serve


Step 1 Heat the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook gently for 5 mins. Tip in the parsnips, turn up the heat and cook for 8-10 mins, stirring every so often, until the parsnips are starting to brown and caramelise.

Step 2 Add the garlic and sage, and mix through. Tip in the barley and stir to coat well. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 35-40 mins, or until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed and the pearl barley is tender but still has a bite. You may need to add a little extra boiling water.

Step 3 Take off the heat, top with the Parmesan and a knob of butter, then leaveto melt. Give the risotto a good stir, then spoon into dishes. Top with more sage, Parmesan and some black pepper.

Enjoy! *Note: we do not judge pot prettiness. Ugly pots v welcome.

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