Make Ahead

Springtime Barley Pilaf with Spring Peas, Asparagus, and Artichokes with a Mint Pesto

March 22, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

I love this time of year when all the early spring fruits and veggies start to show up in the farmer's markets. This could easily be done as a risotto, but I tossed this together with a bunch of barley I'd cooked up earlier in the week. I frequently cook a bunch of whatever favorite grain of the week I'm working with and keep it in the fridge. Then I just add it to various things all through the week, making it oh-so-easy to bring whole grains into my diet. —TheWimpyVegetarian

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup shelled fresh peas
  • 1 large artichoke
  • 6-7 medium - large asparagus spears
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup barley grain
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch dried thyme
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 10 sorrel leaves
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves
  • lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, or enough to make a sauce-like consistency
  1. Trim the top and bottom off the artichoke. Slice into 8 pie-shaped pieces; hollow out the choke. Rub with lemon to keep it from turning brown.
  2. Bring the veggie broth, white wine and lemon juice to a boil. Add a sprig of thyme. Throw in the peas and artichoke slices. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the peas and artichokes are tender. Remove from the broth mixture and set aside.
  3. Put the barley grain into the broth mixture and add 1/2 cup of water. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the barley is al dente (tender but a little chewy).
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the asparagus spears into 3/4" slices on the diagonal and toss in a little olive oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of dried thyme. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, or until tender. Set aside
  5. In a blender, combine the mint, sorrel, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and garlic cloves. Whirl like crazy while drizzling in the olive oil. Drizzle in enough to get a pour-able consistency.
  6. When the barley is done, toss it with the peas, artichokes, asparagus and mint-sorrel pesto. Serve warm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • dymnyno
  • healthierkitchen
  • Burnt Offerings
    Burnt Offerings
  • TheWimpyVegetarian

6 Reviews

dymnyno March 22, 2011
I love sounds just like Spring...and healthy too!
TheWimpyVegetarian March 23, 2011
Thanks Mary! I hope you try it-it actually came together pretty quickly too.
healthierkitchen March 22, 2011
I can't wait until we have some more of these vegetables locally! Sounds so springy!
TheWimpyVegetarian March 22, 2011
Thanks healthierkitchen! I just love it when all these harbingers of spring start coming into the market. I haven't seen any fava beans yet, but these would go nicely with this too.
Burnt O. March 22, 2011
How lovely! Really like the addition of fresh sorrel. So underused. What a perfect side for salmon, grilled lamb chops or seared scallops. Very pretty dish.
TheWimpyVegetarian March 22, 2011
Thanks Burnt Offerings! And I love your dish pairing ideas! I might just go out and get some lamb chops to go with this for dinner tonight!