Barley always used to be on hand in the kitchen cupboard as a welcome answer for a quick supper. But I don’t remember having it in either someone’s home or at a restaurant lately.
Barley was probably the first cereal cultivated by man. In Scotland, it is exceedingly popular, used in soups as a thickener, as a porridge, in cakes and in the distillation of Scotch whisky. The Scots know a good thing when they taste it.
Hulled barley, available in health food stores, has had the outer hull removed. It takes longer to cook than the more familiar pearl barley, which has had both hull and germ removed, leaving small, cream-colored balls that look like pearls. Cooked barley has a mild flavor and chewy texture.
This recipe for Barley Casserole can make a simple satisfying supper by itself served with a green salad.