Mild and nutty pearled barley adds a great chewiness and texture to one of our classic charred pepper and sausage dishes. Use any variety and color of peppers that you can get your hands on. Normally our garden has a range of sweet bell peppers growing, but recently we’ve been enjoying the smaller ones. The char on the peppers adds a terrific savory, smoky flavor to the whole dish, so don’t be afraid to give the peppers a slight blackening.

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  • 1 cup (200g) pearled barley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large bell peppers, seeded and cut into large slices
  • ½ medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 pound (455g) uncooked sausage, pinched into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce



  1. In a pot, combine the barley with 2 ½ cups (600ml) water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 35 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium–high heat. Add the oil and pepper slices. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the peppers have a nice char.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, and sausage. When the sausage begins to firm up (about 1 minute), stir to lift the peppers on top of the sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more, or until the sausage is cooked through.
  4. Add the barley and fish sauce, stir to combine, and heat until the barley is warm.