This recipe for pearl barley & whisky butter mushrooms will make the most hardened of carnivores question the idea that every meal requires a meat component. They taste great, have a good, dense texture to them and are really filling. You can eat a few of these as a main, or serve one as a side to accompany another meal. You could make it healthier by removing the whisky butter component but do you really want to do that…?
Preparation Time: 15 minutes / Cooking Time: 15 minutes / Serves 2
- 6 portobello (or similar) mushrooms
- 30ml whiskey
- 20g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g pearl barley
- 50g feta cheese
- ½ lemon, juiced
- rind of 1 preserved lemon, finely sliced
- ½ tsp (2.5g) fresh dill, finely chopped
- a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 12 sprigs fresh thyme
- ½ brown onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 birds eye chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Cook the pearl barley as per the instructions on the packet.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C fan forced
- Remove the stalks from the mushrooms. Dice the stalks and set aside.
- Place the mushrooms heads stalk side up onto a tray lined with baking paper.
- In a bowl, mix together the softened butter and whiskey. Once combined, place the mixture evenly across all of the mushroom heads.
- Sprinkle the mushroom heads with the leaves of 4 thyme sprigs and bake for 10-15 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
- In a bowl combine the mushroom stalks, barley, feta cheese, preserved lemon, thyme, dill, chilli, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil and set aside.
- Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the onion and garlic. Fry the onions until they become translucent. Remove from the head and transfer into the bowl containing the barley.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and divide the mixture evenly across each mushroom.
- Eat now, or put into the fridge and eat cold later – either way it tastes great.
If you’re adverse to alcohol you could just use butter without the whisky. It won’t taste quite as good, but will still be tasty – add a pinch of sugar to the melted butter for some sweetness.