Barley with Creamy Mushrooms; Rome

My sister-in-law and I spent a week in Rome while the 2 brothers (nos maris) got special bonding time together in Madrid.

Then we all met up in Tangier along with the rest of the clan.

After a week in Tangier half went back across the pond; half came home with us.

One of our son’s favorite side dishes is barley.

It’s mine, too but mon mari would be happy if he never ate it again….. or so he said.

Needless to say I took this opportunity to make one of my favorites.

I believe mon mari is now a convert…. and the rest of the family was quite happy as well.

This is the recipe for 2 servings.

I doubled it for the 5 of us as we had rather a lot of duck breast and acorn squash. There were complaints that I should have tripled it…..

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Barley with Creamy Mushrooms

Sautéed mushrooms and shallots give a woodsy note to the barley. The Greek Yogurt gives it a creamy finish. Use your favorite mushrooms.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Sides


  • 2/3 cup (3.3oz, 95gr) quick-cooking barley
  • 1 1/3 cup (13oz, 390ml) beef stock (or more, depending on type of barley)
  • 3oz (90gr) mushrooms, trimmed, chopped
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) beef stock
  • 4 tbs Greek or plain yogurt


  • Cook barley in stock until done, stirring occasionally. If all stock is not absorbed, drain. 
  • Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add shallots and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. 
  • Add mushrooms and sauté until well browned, about 8 minutes longer. 
  • Add Worcestershire sauce and stir. 
  • Dissolve cornstarch in beef stock and add to skillet, stirring until bubbling and thick.
  • Remove from heat and stir in yogurt. 
  • Keep warm until barley is done. 
  • When barley is done, stir into mushroom sauce. Serve.


I use quick-cooking barley which is done in about 18 minutes. Old-fashioned pearly barley takes about 45 minutes. You could substitute a small pasta for the barely – orzo, or farfalle…
I used small, cremini mushrooms..

Keywords: barley, mushrooms

Barley with Mushrooms


Everywhere one looks there is a ruin or a monument or a classic building that has been in use for, oh, 1,000 years or so.

Some were well-known like the Trevi Fountain…. Although I hadn’t realized it was the front of a building.

Some were a surprise (to us) like these pillars we ran across while looking for a famous shopping area.

Yes, there was shopping involved in our stay in Rome (!).

There were a few columns with statues on top in squares or in front of buildings.

Some things, like this ancient chariot race course was both fascinating (imagine Ben Hur, and all that) and maybe just a bit disappointing.

It wasn’t as big as I had thought…. That made it all the more dangerous, I expect. The ruins are on the far side of the course and I don’t know what they had been. The seating, supposedly, was on the banks.

We might have eaten a few lovely meals….

That didn’t involve pasta…. But not many.

This was a lovely steak that had been preceded by a plate of Tuna Tartar.

Sorry, I ate it before the thought of a photo crossed my mind.

I’m a bad food blogger….

But it was so good!

6 thoughts on “Barley with Creamy Mushrooms; Rome”

  1. I think it’s an amazing thing that the people of Europe can walk, sometimes literally, in the footsteps of people from 1,000 years ago. And most think nothing of it. While I’m also fascinated by our history here, it’s not quite the same thing.

    And I love barley! I’ll definitely be making this dish!

  2. I would complain that there wasn’t enough too. Becasue j’adore orzotto! (Or should I be saying, “Adoro orzotto”??)

    I did not know that the Trevi fountain was the front of a building! And the chariot course looks decidedly terrifying – especially if you think of a stray chariot/charioteer/horse madly rattling crazily towards you as you’re sitting in style on the bank with your picnic lunch observing the race.

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