Barley with Tomatoes & Basil; lavender

This features one of my favorite ‘tomato sauces’ of the summer.

It’s nothing more than grated or shredded fresh tomatoes along with fresh basil leaves.

It’s summer in a bowl.

We like simple foods and we especially like easy, simple foods during the lazy days of summer.

Grating / shredding tomatoes is easy, but be careful not to grate your hand…

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Barley with Tomatoes & Basil

I’ve kept this simple: barley, tomato sauce & herbs. You could add feta cheese, olives, tuna…. keep it simple or turn it into a meal.

  • Author: Kate
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Sides


  • 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) quick-cooking barley
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken broth (or more, depending on type of barley)
  • 2 large, fresh garden tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3 tbs fresh basil, large leaves torn or chopped
  • 1 tbs salad olive oil


  • Cook barley in broth until done, stirring occasionally.
  • If all the broth is not absorbed, drain.
  • Sauce:
  • Cup half of a tomato in your hand and rub it on the big holes of a box (or other style) grater until all that is left in your hand is the skin.
  • Repeat with remaining tomato halves.
  • Add tomato ‘sauce’, olive oil, basil, to barley, stir and serve.


I use quick-cooking barley which is done in 16 minutes.
I used both purple and green basil.
Grate the tomatoes while the barley cooks so there is no extra ‘prep’ time.
Using the biggest holes on the grater lets some tomato chunks in the sauce.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
  • Calories: 276
  • Sugar: 5.7 g
  • Sodium: 475.5 mg
  • Fat: 8.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 46.5 g
  • Fiber: 10 g
  • Protein: 7.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 2.5 mg
Barley with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Prefer pasta? Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

I was out watering the other morning, just as the sun was coming over the trees in front of our lane.

The bees and hummingbird moths were busy.

They like purple flowers. The lavender, marjoram, and oregano were all humming.

There were both bumble bees and honey bees. Bumble bees are easier to photograph.

I planted all these flowering herbs because I like them.

I care for them because the bees like them.

4 thoughts on “Barley with Tomatoes & Basil; lavender”

  1. I love the quick cooking barley and it’s one thing that’s easy to buy in the supermarket market here. It’s called Ebly.

  2. I don’t have any ripe tomatoes yet, but Thing 1 gave me a bunch of basil out of her garden so I’ll have to make this tonight. This would be enough for me for a light dinner, but husband has to have MEAT or it’s not a meal…

    Your lavender looks wonderful! Mine died this spring so I had to plant more. It was almost 10 years old though and I think sometimes, they don’t always live long lives. There’s a little bit that came back, but I had a really big plant and it just didn’t make it. I do love watching the bumbles on all my flowers though. They really shouldn’t be able to fly, they’re so bottom heavy.

    • That lavender is about 6 years old and really doing well this year. We get big, black bumblebees that are very slow moving and fun to watch. And lots of butterflies. Purple must be a good color – the lavender, oregano, marjoram, and mint I have along the fence all have purple flowers.

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