Loving Barley……And Always Lemons!

Isabel, I boiled up two cups of barley in loads of water, drained it, and put it aside. I wanted that chewy texture in some upcoming meals (don’t ask me why!). So good in a salad; it gives everything a bit of weight in an otherwise non- substantial dish of greens which is sometimes CALLED FOR! Don’t you agree? Just because we want to eat healthy doesn’t mean we all want to be half-starved.

So….. just letting you know, use a handful or a small cupful in a green salad, or for something full on in hearty, try this yummy combination as a side ( we ate it with excellent pork sausages) :

Potato and Barley Fry Up

  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 4 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 large cooked potatoes
  • half a cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • olive oil for sauteing
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large fry pan.
  2. Toss in the onions and garlic and cook till softened. Cook on high heat but watch carefully so the ingredients don’t burn.
  3. As these start to brown, add the potatoes.
  4. When the potatoes become golden ( you may need to add a little more oil), add the barley and stir well. Reduce heat.
  5. Sprinkle with flat leaf parsley, season, stir well.
  6. Add a tablespoon or two of water so that the potatoes and onion don’t stick.

Barley and potato fry

So that was one yummy hearty side to serve with a simple salad of butter lettuce and shaved pear and parmesan. YUM.

Now these preserved lemons which I bought a couple of weeks ago when you were here have been taunting me, sitting on the windowsill, with their gorgeous bright colour. Remember I bought them from the butcher in the Double Bay Cosmopolitan arcade? I had some organic chicken thighs so these had to convert into a lemony Moroccan tagine! Since you have a beautiful red tagine to cook in at Grouse, there is no excuse- this is one super easy dish to make, Izzy. It is so delish-serve with a cous cous salad and you are in for a FEAST.

Chicken tagine with cous cous salad side

Preserved lemons!

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

  • 2 kg chicken thighs (preferably with the bone on for more flavour)
  • 2 large preserved lemons, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 cup green pitted green olives
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (coriander), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon cummin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water or chicken stock


  1. Trim the chicken pieces of any fat, sprinkle over with the cumin, coriander, chilli powder, pepper and salt. Coat evenly, and leave aside in a bowl.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy based pan and sauté the onion, garlic and ginger until soft.
  3. Remove the onion mixture from the heat and set aside.
  4. Heat the rest of the oil, and brown the chicken in the same pan, in a few small batches.
  5. When each batch of four or five pieces are brown on each side, set them aside with the onion mix.
  6. Once all the chicken pieces have been browned, put all the cooked ingredients back in the pan (or tagine if you have one).
  7. Add the olives, preserved lemons, and chopped coriander. Stir well. Add the cup of water or stock.
  8. On a low simmer, cook for about thirty to forty minutes, and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  9. Serve warm with cous cous or rice.

Your little pal Paisley is home from her ACL surgery and being an absolute trooper in her special temporary cage. Poor little thing with her cone collar to prevent scratching, and those awful big sutures, it is all a bit overwhelming.  But dear old Alice is close at hand playing nursemaid. They are so sweet to each other!

I hope the last of your essays are going well. Just think, as soon as its all over, you’ll be on your way to LA! How fun will it be, to catch up with all your Brentwood school friends at Thanksgiving. I wish I was going too.

2 thoughts on “Loving Barley……And Always Lemons!

  1. “NInang Tina! I had a mash of barley, carrots, onions, and cilantro last night for dinner. We must be on the same wavelength!” Love, Adrian xoxo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s