Author Notes: I love getting sauteed mushrooms and creamed spinach with my steaks when I go out, and I recently found myself craving both while grilling up some steak-burger patties. Two sides, however, seem a little excessive for a weeknight dinner, so I combined them with barley for a quick dish. This makes a great cold lunch the day after, too. - ktchnninja
- 1 cup barley
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced and then roughly chopped
- 6-8 ounces frozen cut spinach, thawed
- 8-10 large green olives (mine were marinated in "Mediterranean herbs"), pitted and chopped finely
- 1 handful smoked Gouda cheese, grated/shredded
- salt & pepper to taste
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add in the barley. Cook until al dente.
- Meanwhile, place a medium/large skillet over medium-high heat and heat the olive oil (for extra smokiness and deliciousness, use bacon fat instead). Add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened slightly, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add the thawed spinach and chopped olives. Combine well with the mushrooms and cook until heated through. (I usually prep the mushrooms as I am waiting for the water for the barley to boil, and the vegetables are done around the same time as the barley -- if the spinach/mushroom mixture is done first, however, remove from heat and set aside.)
- When the barley is ready (al dente), drain the water and return the barley to the pot. Add the spinach/mushroom mixture to the pot and mix well, seasoning with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in half the Gouda cheese and fold into the barley mixture; repeat with the remaining cheese.
- Serve immediately if desired. Otherwise, this recipe can be made a day in advance, stored in the refrigerator, and served cold.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Portable Side