What beautiful fall weather we have been having recently! I really hope this extends through the rest of the season and doesn’t suddenly heat back up. After living in Florida for the last two years, I’ve really missed the cool mornings and the warmer days. As I’ve been telling Will all week, this weather feels like February in Florida–and I’m certainly not complaining! What also comes with the fall weather are fall foods and this recipe is a good example of something warm and hearty to eat on a chilly evening. We’ve recently taken a liking to mushrooms, so when Beth at Budget Bytes posted this recipe, there was an unspoken “yes, we need to make this” that we both immediately recognized.
It may be because we made this in a bit of a rush or because I had it after it had been waiting on the stovetop for awhile, but I wasn’t overly impressed with this dish. It was good and flavorful and all the normal qualifiers of a solid dinner, but I wasn’t blown away. Perhaps my expectations of food have gotten too high! However (and this is a big however), I think this dish could easily be altered to accommodate for other foods being brought in. I think next time we make it, I would definitely add an onion to amp up the flavor and then probably mess around with adding a larger variety of spices. This would also go well served as a side dish for a regular old dinner! Give it a shot and share what you come up with, please!
Cooking Notes: We used baby bella mushrooms as opposed to button mushrooms, like she called for. We also substituted Italian seasoning for dried thyme.
Baked Barley and Mushrooms (adapted from Budget Bytes; serves 3-4)
3 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic
8 oz. baby bella sliced mushrooms, rinsed
1 cup pearled barley
2 cups veggie broth
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
Handful of fresh parsley, to dress
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mince the garlic and add it to the bottom of a dutch oven along with the butter. Cook on the stove top over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until garlic has softened. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they have softened. Add the barley, veggie broth, and Italian seasoning to the dutch oven. Stir to combine, then place the lid on top and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour. When it’s done, fluff the barley and sprinkle in parsley. Enjoy!