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Barley and Kale Winter Dish

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“A real comfort food, but good for you! I served this as a main dish with a fried egg on top (poached would work great too). Would also be great with (vegan/vegetarian) sausage, or in smaller portions as a side dish. Mushrooms would be an excellent addition to this...Alas, my partner doesn't like them. Maybe when he's not home...”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a deep pot with a lid, heat 1 Tb of the olive oil over medium/medium-high heat. When heated, add the barley and toast for a minute. Add 2 cups of water to the barley and bring the pot to a boil. Once the water reaches a boil, turn the heat down and allow the barley to cook until tender. This will probably take 25-35 minutes. You can cook barley much like rice: if you find the water disappearing quickly and the grain still isn't tender, just add more water and more time. While this happens:
  2. Heat the other 1 Tb of olive oil in a saute skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add your sliced onion and bell pepper. Stir to coat, season lightly with salt and pepper, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is transparent and pepper is tender. Turn off the heat under the skillet, and turn your attention back to the cooked, tender barley.
  3. With some luck, your barley is tender and there's maybe just a bit of water left among the grains. If not, add a scant 1/4 cup more water. Keeping a low/medium heat under your pot, dump in your chopped kale. Season the pile of kale liberally with salt and pepper, then add the minced garlic and lemon juice. Replace the pot's lid, and allow this pile of vitamins to steam for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Once the kale begins to wilt a bit, remove the lid again, add the onion and pepper mixture, and stir to mix. Season with additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice as necessary to your taste. Turn off the heat, replace the lid. Finally, to crown your glorious meal:
  5. Return your now-empty (but likely still greased) skillet to a burner over medium-high heat. Crack an egg for each diner into the skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook to fried egg glory (the yolk should be runny! it should!).
  6. Serve each diner a heaping ladle of the barley mixture topped with an egg. To show off, you could garnish with chopped parsley or scallions.

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