Barley and Wild Rice Pilaf

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

Rice can be combined with any other grains, such as corn and barley. It is a harmonious blend of earthy flavors, and the barley and wild rice take the same amount of time to cook.


  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cup barley
  • ½ cup wild rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 red (bell) pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced (¼ inch)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly cut crosswise
  • 4 cups (packed) trimmed and shredded spinach leaves (about 10 ounces)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


    1. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a wide 4- to 6-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the barley and wild rice until coated.
    2. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Stir thoroughly. Cover and cook over low heat until the liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Let stand, off heat and covered.
    3. When the grains are almost ready, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the red pepper and cook, stirring, until the edges begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sliced garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and heat, stirring, just until wilted.
    4. Add the spinach mixture to the grains. Stir just until blended. Correct the seasonings and serve.