The keen-eyed among you will notice that the title of this week’s post doesn’t really match the name of this week’s recipe. I decided to substitute quinoa so that my partner could eat it with me. I love barley, especially when my mother uses it in soup, but it contains gluten, so it’s a no go grain in our house.
Adapting the recipe was easy, though a little fussy. Quinoa is more like couscous than barley and takes only five minutes under boiling water to be ready. The original recipe allows the vegetables to cook in stages with the barley. To make sure that the carrot and red pepper were soft enough for the pilaf, I added them to the pan with the partially sautéed onions and cooked them until they were nearly tender. Then, I added the vegetables to the chicken stock and simmered it for a few more minutes. I strained the vegetables out of the stock and set them aside, then brought the stock up to a boil before pouring it over the quinoa. (If your stock reduces too much, you can top it up with boiling water.)
Once the quinoa was done, I added the cooked vegetables to it, along with the lemon zest and green onions. Not exactly what Dorie had in mind, but with all the flavours and textures intact.
You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe (many of them ACTUALLY using barley!) here: Lemon Barley Pilaf