Home » 03 March » Barley, Wild Rice, & Mushroom Pilaf

Barley, Wild Rice, & Mushroom Pilaf

This is as similar to some of the roasted vegetable salads I have been making lately as a it is to a true pilaf, I would have to say. The predominance of the grains makes me willing to call it a pilaf though.

All kinds of favourite things here – I love the chewiness of the grains, the umami of the roasted mushrooms, and the bite of the garlic, cheese and lemon. You could serve it by itself but it will go well with chicken, fish, or any kind of meat, really. Salmon trout in particular seems like a good idea. A green salad will finish things off.

4 to 6 servings
1 hour 15 minutes prep time

Barley, Wild Rice, & Mushroom Pilaf

Cook the Wild Rice & Barley:
1 leek
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup wild rice
2/3 cup pot barley
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups water

Trim the leek, and cut it in half lengthwise, then into thin slices. Rinse them and drain them very well. Put the butter in a rice-cooker and turn it on. When the butter melts, add the leek and cook gently, stirring regularly, until softened.

Add the wild rice, barley, salt, and water. Be sure the rice cooker is on. Close it and let the contents cook until it turns itself off; about 45 minutes. 

Cook the Mushrooms & Shallots:
125 grams (1/4 pound) oyster mushrooms
125 (1/4 pound) button or shiitake mushrooms
6 to 8 shallots
 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
75 grams (3 ounces) Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon rubbed thyme or savory
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Clean and trim both sets of mushrooms. Cut off and discard any tough stems from the oyster mushrooms, and cut them in half lengthwise if large. Slice the button or shiitake mushrooms (discard shiitake stems). Peel and sliver the shallots. Peel and mince the garlic. Grate the Parmesan cheese.

Toss the mushrooms and shallots together on a sheet of parchment paper over a baking tray. Dot them with the butter and season with the thyme, salt and pepper.

When the rice-cooker turns off, leave it to stay warm. Turn the broiler on and broil the mushrooms and shallots, stirring every few minutes, until softened and browned. For the last time or two of broiling, mix in the garlic and 2/3 of the Parmesan.

Make the Gremolata Dressing:
1 clove of garlic
a few gratings of lemon zest
the juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley

While the mushrooms and shallots broil, peel and mince the garlic along with a small amount of lemon zest, say about 1/4 teaspoon loosely packed. Mix them with the lemon juice. Wash, trim, and mince the parsley.

When the mushrooms are ready, tip the barley and wild rice from the rice cooker onto the tray of mushrooms and mix well. Drizzle with the lemon juice and sprinkle about half the parsley onto the mixture, and toss everything together. Transfer everything to a serving dish, and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and Parmesan. Serve at once. 

Last year at this time I made Honey, Lemon, & Ginger Squash.

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