Do you ever have one of those nights when you just don’t know what to cook, and you stare into the fridge, the cupboard, the pantry…you sigh over and over again… just wanting to not deal with it, and have food magically appear? (I recognize the irony of a person with a food blog complaining about not knowing what to make.) Well a few weeks ago I was home alone and the idea of making a full meal just for me seemed ridiculous, but at the same time I couldn’t bring myself around to eating cereal. So I pulled out the supplies I had…and this was the result:

1 cup barely
2 1/2 cups veggie stock
(you could use water, but I found this gave the barely nice flavouring…kind of like risotto!)
1/4 yellow onion finely diced
1 clove of garlic minced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1 green onion, chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice from one lemon
salt and pepper to taste
parsley to garnish


  1. Combine barley and stock or water in a pot (if using water I would encourage you to add a little salt as you would when cooking pasta). Bring it to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce to low, cover and allow to simmer for 35 minutes. Check for done-ness, it may need a few more minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, using one tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil and the balsamic vinegar, fry up the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Once everything is softened, and the onions are translucent remove from heat, and allow to come to room temperature.
  3. Allow barely to cool. I found putting it on a plate and spreading it all out was a good method.
  4. Once everything is nice and cool, combine the sautéed veg, green onions, barley remaining olive oil, lemon juice and mix.
  5. Add crumbled feta – don’t over mix otherwise the feta will disintegrate.
  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Top with parsley as garnish.