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Barley and Leeks

Barley, that hearty nutritious grain, is part of Italian cooking and has been for centuries. It was known to the ancient Romans who ground it into flour and used it to make flat breads. And even the gladiators who were called “barley men” recognized the value of eating barley sprouts before heading to the coliseum. It has been a favorite ingredient in soups and stews since then. Now that we are hearing more about getting more grains into our diet, you should definitely try this easy recipe, which can be a side to almost anything, fish, meat and poultry. Serves 6


1 cup pearl barley

2 cups water

1 cup dry white wine such as Soave or Corvo

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil

1 medium size leek, tough green tops removed and discarded, white part rinsed well and minced

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Salt to taste

1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese


Combine the barley, water and wine in a 2 quart saucepan and cook until tender, about 40 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In the same saucepan, combine the butter and olive oil over medium heat; stir in the leeks and cook them until they soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the barley, parsley and season with salt.  Stir in the cheese. Serve hot.

This recipe is featured on show 2006 – Orzo! The Best!


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