Warm Broccoli and Barley Pilaf


People tend to cook barley more in the winter than in the summer. But once it's been toasted in a saucepan with some butter and boiled (only 20 minutes), barley is a terrific showcase for super fresh vegetables, like the broccoli Grace Parisi uses here.

Warm Broccoli and Barley Pilaf
Photo: © Karen Mordechai
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
40 mins


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 cup barley (7 ounces)

  • Water

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli—cut into 1-inch florets, stems peeled and cut into 1/2 -inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup minced shallots

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the barley and cook over moderately high heat, stirring until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the barley is tender and the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet, bring 1/2 inch of water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets, cover and cook just until bright green, about 2 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Wipe out the skillet and melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the olive oil. Add the broccoli stems and stir-fry over high heat until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the shallots, ginger and jalapeño and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the broccoli florets, season with salt and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the barley and scallion and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Transfer to a bowl and serve warm.

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