Barley, roasted cauliflower and shitake warm salad

April 12, 2017 Published by Dina 6 Comments

So I set out to make this recipe from my friend Colleen’s The Food Blog but somehow got distracted and ended up with the similar base ingredients but a different recipe. I’ll have to make Colleen’s recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook another time.

I cooked the barley the day before, planning to do something with it but wasn’t sure what. Some of it went into a vegetable soup that is currently simmering on the back burner and the rest I combined with roasted cauliflower and quick sautéed beautiful shitake mushrooms. The recipe is simple yet quite flavourful, especially with the green tomato jam/chutney that adds sweetness to the otherwise savoury dish. If you don’t have tomato chutney use some other sweet and tangy chutney or even a nicely dressed small green salad that can be served on the same plate with the barley and add a tangy note.

Since barley does not photograph that well, at least when I try it, I thought I’d create a tower that can be dismantled when you eat. Towers photograph better because they add a shape to the dish. What say you?

Travel plans for this spring is a road trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island – maybe. There is a food festival in Tofino in May with a few enticing events. If I can pull it together I think I’d like to go. I’ll report from the road if I make it.

The farmer’s market is open now in Kelowna and I look forward to explore what they have. I doubt there is truly local produce quite yet but you never know. At least our local forager Scot Moran should be there with foraged treasures.

What’s new with you? Any travel plans? Would love to hear.



1 cup barley (can substitute with quinoa)

1 small cauliflower, separated into small florets

9 shitake mushrooms, chopped

1 shallot, minced

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

A handful of parsley, chopped

1/3 cup roughly chopped pistachios

Salt and pepper


Rinse the barley, then add to a pot, cover with cold water by a couple of inches, add a large pinch of salt and bring to a gentle boil. Lower heat to a steady simmer and cook until the barley is cooked through. Watch the water level, the water should be more or less absorbed when the barley is done. Drain any excess water when cooked through and set aside.

Line a baking sheet with foil, place cauliflower florets on the sheet and drizzle with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Stir to coat the florets with the oil.

Roast the cauliflower in 400°F oven until lightly golden in spots, 10 minutes or so. Remove when done.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil, add the shallot and cook until softened, a couple fo minutes on medium heat.

Add the mushrooms and cook until softened, 2-3 minutes, stirring.

Add the barley and continue cooking and stirring until the barley is heated through and coated with the oil.

Add the cauliflower, parsley and  pistachios (you can keep some parsley and pistachios for garnish).

Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve warm with green tomato chutney or a small green salad with a tangy vinaigrette.

To make the tower use a round metal ring and lightly pack the barley salad into it. Remove it gently just before serving.




  • Lila Gattinger says:

    Thank you Dina for this recipe…..and also “nudging” me to use the food collars I purchased years ago at the C.I.A in St. Helena. I even have one in a pyramid shape! I used them briefly for rice, then retired them to storage, not wanting to get rid of them. You had a glorious winter and now Spring is inspiring you anew. Lila

    • Dina says:

      Lila, so nice to hear from you. The food collars are useful in so many ways, don’t get rid of them. The pyramid shaped one would be beautiful, I think i will get one as well. Thanks for mentioning it. Happy cooking.

  • Colleen Milne says:

    Dina, I’m so glad to have inspired you, but even happier to see your own recipe which looks amazing, as usual! Like you, I usually get distracted from a recipe and get creative on my own. I love the pistachios in there. And as for the tower, I say yes. 🙂

    • oliveoilandlemons says:

      Hi Colleen, you have to like barley to enjoy this. It was fun playing with the presentation. Next time I’ll be more focused and finish the recipe that I set out to do…

  • bellini says:

    I’d love to go the island one of these days. Buffalo farms, farm-to-table restaurants, and of course Tofino. It has been years since I was last there off Salt Spring Island. As for the dish, it makes cauliflower sound extraordinary 🙂

    • oliveoilandlemons says:

      Hi Val, there are a number of food festivals going on the island. Would be a shame to miss it. I’ll see if I can get organized to go for a few days. G is game to go.

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