Pearl barley with caramelized vegetables

“Pros and cons of making food. Pros – food, cons – making”

I consider this time of year the period “in between”. The fresh vegetables grown locally are not quite there yet and the root vegetables grown last season are still good enough. Don’t you have that feeling when hitting the store you see all kinds of products, but it kind of feels like the “real stuff” is not there? Does that make sense?

I’ve also been monitoring my physical well-being. People say they crave all kinds of foods during winter when it’s cold and dark outside (or maybe they just try to justify those few extras on their hips and thighs). Well I’m the opposite or somewhat off in general – I start craving everything right about now. I swear I could eat everything and a little bit more on top. Emphasis here is on “could”, let’s skip the “I do” part. Being my own personal “scientist” (sarcasm intended – you know, when you read all those articles about scientists who discovered that this is good, this is bad, this is a super food and all of it contradicts one another) I decided that I lack real, fresh, straight out of garden vitamins.

Let’s settle for the real stuff that is still available now before the fresh produce hits the stores and markets.


  • Pearl barley
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potato
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Olive oil/butter
  • Salt’n’pepper and a little bit of something to spice things up/ chilies

Start with boiling barley, following instructions on the packaging. It takes a bit of time. Taste as you boil it – I find the texture of these grains absolutely amazing, especially when under cooked just by a little bit.

This time I used butter for pan frying sliced vegetables. Go with olive oil for a vegan option. Start with carrots, then add sweet potato and cauliflower. Any other vegetables will work as well, such as celery root, parsnip, potatoes, etc. Add your choices of spices – salt and pepper to taste, a bit of dried chilies if you like it a bit hot. Once veggies are caramelized, add barley and a few generous handfuls of spinach. Cook for a few more minutes and serve.

As simple as that – seriously filling and satisfying.

It was a weekend and yes, you do see a glass of white wine in the picture!

Bon appetit!

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