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Barley With Caramelized Vegetables


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Barley With Caramelized Vegetables


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Barley With Caramelized Vegetables

This recipe is a delicious and easy way to incorporate vegetables into dinner. Canola oil is used to saute and toast the barley to bring out its great flavor.


  • Ready Time : 0 min




  • 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 3/4 cup pearl barely
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 pkg (8oz/200g) sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped zucchini, halved lengthwise, and cut into thin strips
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt


In a saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat. Add barley and toast 3-4 minutes.

Add broth to barley. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until barley is tender, about 40-45 minutes. Drain off excess broth. Cover to keep barley warm.

Meanwhile, in large frying pan, heat remaining 1 Tbsp canola oil. Add onion and sauté about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add red pepper, mushrooms and garlic and sauté 3-4 minutes.

Add zucchini, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and continue to cook about 4-5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over barley.

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30 Responses to Barley With Caramelized Vegetables

  1. avatar says: mommyray

    We liked this dish, though I did make some changes. We aren’t big fans of balsamic vinegar, so I added a bit more of the brown sugar instead. I also doubled the amount of veggies. I had to keep an eye on the water level when the barley was simmering and I actually ended up adding extra water. Bet this would be yummy with quinoa too!

  2. avatar says: Laya

    This dish was very good but I felt 3 tblps balsamic vinegar was too much. I would add less or maybe use soy sauce instead but the carmelized vegetables were really good. very good side dish

  3. avatar says: Tzivia

    Made this for supper exactly the way it says no complaints. I served it with the oven baked sweet and sour chicken that I froze last week by the way defrosted it in frig over night warmed it up in double boiler tasted like I just made it.

  4. avatar says: Chayale

    The vegetables had great flavor. Nice idea for a side dish. Based on a previous comment, I only used 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar and that was enough for me. I didnt really like the consistency of the barley. I may try the vegetables over rice or couscous next time.

  5. avatar says: Marnie

    I love barley & vinegar and this was terrific. It’s nice to have a non-soup dish with barley. I don’t like zucchini so I substituted crook neck and gray Mexican squash, both of which worked very well. I very much like Mommyray’s suggestion of more veggies, which I usually do to cut back on carbs as I’m diabetic.

  6. avatar says: batya_a

    Not sure if this counts as a review of this dish or not, as I changed many details– but the main idea remains the same, so here goes.
    We don’t do barley, mushrooms, zucchini, or vinegar- but here’s what I did do-
    1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice, cooked with 3 1/4 cups salted water.
    Saute together in 2 tblspns of the oil- 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 carrots thinly sliced, 1 can of baby corn- drained and sliced the long way, 2 celery stalks sliced thinly on the diagonal.
    As the veggies reach your desired tenderness, add 1 Tblsp brown sugar, and 3 Tblsp soy sauce.
    Serve the veggies separately, so each person can take as they prefer.

  7. avatar says: leah

    did better with more veggies, barley was nice change though, too much balsamic vinegar

  8. avatar says: Miriam A

    This was great I would never have put Balsamic Vibegar and brown sugar.I did add a little more brown sugar.This is going to be a regular for us.

  9. avatar says: Marsha

    I made this dish tonight with a few changes because I didn’t want to go to the store. First I substituted Israeli couscous for the barley. Then I used a mix colored pepper from the CSA share we got today. Finally, since we didn’t have any zucchini on hand, I used fresh kale from the CSA. It wilted down beautifully and added some great color. We ended up just mixing the couscous and vegetables together and it was fantastic. This dish will definitely be put into the rotation of easy, delicious side dishes.

  10. avatar says: SeffiScho

    really nice side dish, though i think it had way too much vinegar and im not a fan of adding sugar to otherwise healthy food. i think some white wine on the veggies instead mixed with the deep flavor of stock goes really well.

  11. avatar says: Huvie

    I loved this dish! It went with a frittata to round out a nice Sunday dinner. I didn’t have mushrooms on hand, but I did add in some eggplant. The vegetables by themselves are also delicious and would make a nice side. There was a high ratio of barley to vegetables when I made this; next time, I will probably make only half that amount of barley or double the vegetables.

  12. avatar says: Dvora

    I made this dish now as a side to the tomatoe pesto chicken.
    I did it with fresh mushrooms and added a little more
    garlic then it said in the recipe. Was delicious!
    I never used barley before as a side dish, only in
    My Tshulent. My kids liked it, I’ll definitely will cook
    This again!

  13. Our family liked this dish. I made a recipe and a half more of the veggies and also the seasonings. We used it as a main dish. the barley needed more cooking time and liquid. I added 2/3cup water and cooked it 15 min more on very low heat.

  14. avatar says: debkarow

    Our family really liked this dish. I made a recipe plus half more of the veggies along with more seasonings. We didn’t think the balsamic vinegar was too much as other commenters did.The barley needed more liquid and cooking time. I added 2/3 cp more water after 45 min and left it on very low heat another 15 min.It was our main dish as we eat vegetarian 5 out of 7 days.

  15. I didn’t like the balsamic vinegar on the vegetables. I might have liked it better without it. Otherwise it would be a good side dish.

  16. This dish went over very well in my family. It was something new to do with barley! I left out the peppers, but otherwise followed the recipe. It’s definitely a keeper.

  17. Made this dish for Shabbat. I agree with the others that the barley needed more water and at least another 20 minutes cooking time. The vegetables came out great, though I diced them instead of cutting in strips. I mixed the vegetables together with the cooked barley as I find my kids are more likely to eat the veggies when they are mixed in rather than on top. The kids commented that they like the sauce on the veggies and would have liked more of it to coat the barley. Next time I will double the marinade! This becomes a great weekday dinner if you add a protein like grilled chicken, vegetarian “chicken” or seitan.

  18. avatar says: Lisa

    I liked this dish. The barley was chewy, which I thought was a nice contrast to the soft vegetables. For softer barley, increase the broth and cooking time. I used one small zucchini which I julienned, instead of cubing.

  19. avatar says: j israel

    I followed this recipe exactly. it was really good they I may use a little less balsamic vinegar next time. It kept really well on the hot plate for Friday night dinner too which is always a plus!

  20. I made this for Shabbos instead of our usual rice and it was a big hit. Even my son-in-law who doesnt like balsamic vinegar liked it. Will definitely keep it in my repertoire.

  21. I followed the recipe exactly and my family all liked it. I think I will reduce the balsamic vinegar to 2 tbsp. net time. This was great to eat cold for lunch the net day.

  22. avatar says: pixframe

    ON TV there’s a program called New Scandinavian Cooking. Ages ago they had a recipe for cinnamon chicken with barley that has become a standard in my home (http://www.newscancook.com/recipes-by-chef/medieval-saffron-and-cinnamon-chicken-with-barley/ ). With that recipe in mind, when making this recipe, I added some raw chicken breasts (salt and peppered on each side) to the barley to cook with the barley. The result was a delicious main dish.

    • What a great idea, thanks for sharing that, it is a full meal with the chicken added or tofu if someone wanted it vegetarian.

  23. avatar says: Adina101

    Dish was pretty but balsamic vinegar was overwhelming. Next time I would reduce the balsamic vinegar or even use red wine vinegar instead.

  24. avatar says: Amy

    I made this for 2 people so I used only 1 cup of barley, and all of the vegetables since this was the only side dish for the meal. Even with only 1 C barley, I used about 4 C vegetable broth. It didn’t say how the barley should come out – it was a little crunchy, which was fine. Since the main dish was honey chicken, I wanted a savory side, so I didn’t use the sugar. Based on other commenters, I used closer to 1T balsamic vinegar. I also salted each vegetable (lightly) as I added it to the pan. It was a little bland, but basic enough that I’d make it again.

  25. avatar says: Rivka

    I did it for shabbos night and everybody liked it. As I live where there are no so many kosher things, I didn’t have balsamic vinegar, y put a little of apple vinegar, it was OK. I had to put much more water to get to the 40 min.
    I loved the barley. Another alternative for next time, I’ll try with wheat.

  26. This is great side dish. I did have to add more water to the barley (if you use real barley). As for the sauce, it needed more. But I might try this soy reduction sauce on it next time:
    Soy Reduction
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    2 t lemon juice
    2 T honey

  27. avatar says: RachelY

    This was really well received.
    I halved the barley quantity and liquid but left the veggies.
    I didn’t serve it immediately, so we needed to add water to the mixture as it was all absorbed.
    I sent it to a family that we share with from time to time and the daughter just asked that I prepare it again!

  28. avatar says: Rina

    What kind of main can I prepare with this? Preferbly a healthy chicken recipe if anybody has ideas?

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