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Barley is a whole-grain that has a chewy mouth-feel. High in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein, this grain adds heft and creaminess to recipes. Beef and barley soup might be a recipe you are familiar with, but we are using barley as a side dish in this blog special.

In this post, I have included a "made up" recipe of mine. Those kinds of recipes tend to come from whatever I was into at the time. I had salsa verde in a restaurant once and really liked it. I was also experimenting with using barley to give my diet variety beyond my usual starches of rice, potatoes, and pasta. Somehow combining the two made a tasty side dish!

Along with the recipe below, you can also watch our recipe video to see it being made.  For the written direction on salsa verde, check the Part 1a post.

Barley Parmesan Verde (serves 6)

For extra flavor, try cooking barley in broth. I serve this often with chicken or pork and side of broccoli and red bell peppers.

1 cup pearl or quick-cooking barley
1 cup salsa verde, purchased or homemade
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1. In a large pot, cook barley in water according to package directions, about 20 minutes on quick-cooking barley and 40 minutes on pearl barley. Additional time can be added for pearl barley to increase tenderness. Drain off any excess liquid.
2. Return drained barley to pot. Add salsa verde. Turn heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in parmesan cheese until combined. Serve hot.

Nutrition analysis per serving: 150 calories, 2g fat, 300mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 5g protein