Easy mid-week pearl barley with goat’s cheese


I am so pleased to be writing up a recipe in my other home, London. You know the expression “every fault is a fashion”? My cousin Colleen reminded me that Yvonne Job their housekeeper used to say this all the time. No doubt in a bid to cover up some “fault” or other. Well this falls into that category. Kirsty requested stuffed portobello mushrooms which I usually stuff with pearl barley. Well the pantry did not contain all the required ingredients but I had already started cooking the pearl barley, so this is what resulted and it was lovely.

Serves 4

200g (1 c) pearl barley

2 spring onions thinly sliced

1/2 red chilli pepper finely chopped

120g goats cheese

few sprigs scented thyme

salt and pepper


pearl barley

I love pearl barley as it has a rich mouth feel and gives a little pop when you bite into it. It has had its hull and bran removed in order to make it more generic version of neurontin edible, so its not perfectly unsullied by human hands, but its not bad. Its still a good wholesome food, and its readily available even in St. Lucia.


scented thyme

I’ve included this photo of scented thyme as it turns out there are over 350 varieties of and it is used in all sorts of ways from making perfume to embalming. I’ve got “big thyme” growing in my garden in St. Lucia and have included a photo in my ingredients index. Its got a very distinctive taste which is a welcome ingredient in this dish. You could use any herb you fancied actually.


Simply cook the pearl barley in lots of salted, boiling water until tender but not mushy. Drain and add all the remaining ingredients. I served this with portobello mushrooms stuffed with nuts and herbs, and sliced steamed runner beans.

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