I’ve been away from the blog for a very long time. I had many other things on my mind, and I didn’t have time, energy or inspiration to work on any new recipe. That’s what a mid-life crisis does to you. But here is one new recipe.
There have been a few exciting things that happened during this time that I was away. First, I passed the language test to get citizenship with flying colours. I can now perfectly say that I speak Swedish at an upper intermediate level (in Finland, we have two official languages: Finnish and Swedish). This gave me a new motivation to go back to Finnish and make that fluent too. So I’m now working on that.
Another piece of news: I started teaching at the Adult Education Center in Helsinki. I am doing part-time cooking-baking workshops there. My courses are about finding ways to collaborate to produce complex dishes, using food like a handcraft material and creating “unconventional pies and dishes” that the participants come up with themselves.
Now that the news (well, some of them, at least) is out of the way, here is the recipe.
Time: About 50 minutes cooking, 40 minutes baking
(makes 8 pieces)
Printable PDF-recipe (no photos)
2.5 dl (or 1 cup) pearl barley, soaked overnight (I used broken barley)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (80 gr net)
4 tbsp (or 40 gr) pine nuts
1 can (net weight 170 gr) chopped mushrooms, drained
salt and pepper to taste
100 gr vegan feta cheese, I used Violife Greek style cheese
1 dl (or 20 gr) grated vegan parmesan; I used Violife brand
2 red and 2 yellow bell peppers, cut in two
1/2 cup (or 10 gr) grated vegan parmesan
2 tbsp (or 20 gr) breadcrumbs
For service (optional)
- Drain barley and put it in a pot, add 1 litre (4 cups) of water. Put on medium-high heat and cook for about 25 minutes, until the barley is soft and well-cooked. Drain and put in a bowl.
2. Put olive oil, onion and pine nuts in a large pan (better if it is a large, shallow “pilaf” pan) on medium-high heat and saute for about 3 minutes.
3. Add mushrooms to the pan and continue to saute for 6-7 more minutes until the mushrooms are tender and well-cooked. Make sure to stir frequently while cooking.
4. Add cooked mushroom mixture to barley and mix well.
5. Add salt, pepper, feta-style cheese and parmesan and mix well.
6. Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare 1 or 2 oven trays with baking paper (I had to do mine in 2 batches since my oven is too small).
7. Fill the peppers with the mixture. Distribute the filling evenly between peppers. About 2.5 heaped tablespoons for each pepper was good for me. Put in the middle part of the oven and bake for 20 minutes first.
8. Mix parmesan and breadcrumbs for topping.
9. Take the peppers out of the oven after 20 minutes (DO NOT TURN OFF THE OVEN) and spread some breadcrumb mixture. Put back in the oven and bake for 20 more minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool while preparing plates. Put a bunch of watercress on the plates and one piece of pepper. Decorate with edible flowers. This service design is optional. The peppers also taste well when cooled down/the next day. They stay good for 3 days in the fridge. Enjoy!
Looks delicious–I adore barley! And welcome back.
Thank you! It’s good to be back!
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