Barley Mushroom Salad Topped With Crispy Shallots


My poor bamboo plant is looking ragged.  Salem, my cat, has quite the palette for it. I move it around the house constantly thinking he’ll either forget about it or not find it but he always does and  chomps away at it happily.  It’s a perfectly safe plant for kitties, as are all the plants in my home, researched before I purchased them.

When I first started cooking Vegetarian and Vegan food at home one of the biggest challenges was well,  what to make!  Most of my cooking in the past consisted of: some kind of meat (chicken, fish, beef, pork)  and a side.


I’ve now learned to create balanced dishes with lots of vegetables served with sweet potatoes, wild rice, legumes or rice noodles.
Barley is an ingredient I don’t have very much experience using aside from making Beef Barley soup in the slow cooker at Wintertime. This salad turned out delicious. It’s difficult to get the rich flavour of butter with just oil so to make this recipe Vegetarian by all means, use butter and keep the parmesan out (or used vegan parmesan). I used garlic infuse olive oil;vegan butter would be great but is something I haven’t been able to find at the shops near home yet.


You will need
1 cup of pearl barley
2 shallots, thinly sliced into rings
⅓ cup vegetable oil (coconut, olive, vegetable oil)
2 cups chopped mushrooms (whichever you like)
Black pepper
2 sprigs thyme or dried thyme
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil or unsalted butter
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tblsp of Vegan Parmesan cheese (or regular parmesan)


Start by cooking the barley in a medium pot of boiling salted water until tender, 20–30 minutes. Drain, set aside and let cool.

Meanwhile, cook shallots in the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, swirling the oil in the pan to keep shallots from burning, until they are golden brown. Transfer the shallots to paper towels to drain. Let cool.

Now add the garlic infused oil (or butter) to a large skillet over medium-high. Arrange mushrooms in the skillet in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until undersides are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper, toss, and continue to cook, tossing often and reducing heat as needed to avoid scorching, until golden brown all over, about 5 minutes longer.

Reduce the heat to medium and add thyme, garlic, and extra oil (from the shallots) if necessary (or butter if using) to skillet. Tip skillet toward you so oil or butter pools at edge and use a spoon to baste the mushrooms; transfer mushrooms to a bowl and let cool a little.

Toss cooled barley, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, and vegan/regular parmesan. Add mushrooms; toss again to combine and add salt and pepper if needed.

Just before serving, top with fried cripsy shallots .


I served this salad with another salad with shaved beets, apples and carrots as well as oven roasted zucchini topped with a vegan yogurt sauce I made with mint and garlic.

Thanks for joining me today.





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