Guest Post: Barley Salad with Buttery Mushrooms and Herbs

Hi everyone! My name is Renée Kohlman and Sweetsugarbean is my food blog that I’ve been writing for ten years. I live in beautiful Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where I happily whip up delicious creations in my little green kitchen. Being a chef as well as a food writer and recipe dev, I’m lucky to have turned my passion for all things food into a career I love. My second cookbook, Vegetables: A Love Story, is currently at the printers and I so can’t wait to get my hands on the first copy! The publication date is set for October 5th, and I’ve started to count down the days! The last year and a half has been very busy, and I’m so proud of the work featured in my second book baby. In case you’re wondering, yes, there will be a chapter devoted to Mushrooms and I can’t wait for you to see those delicious recipes. Free time (remind me what that is again) includes Netflix, reading, and spending time with my guy Dixon and three cats.


I’m always excited when Mushrooms Canada asks me to write a guest post for their blog. Mushrooms are a staple in my kitchen and it’s always a thrill to put them into new recipes. I love their taste, obviously, as well as their versatility and overall awesomeness. This is why mushrooms always make their way into my shopping cart and into my kitchen. They are great to use year-round as they are the only vegetable that contains vitamin D. Bursting with antioxidants and cancer-fighting compounds, not to mention being low in calories, mushrooms play an important and delicious part of my culinary adventures in the kitchen.


Summer is the time of picnics and potlucks, thus I wanted to create a hearty, wholesome salad for all of the mushroom lovers out there. Using barley as a base adds heaps of nutrition, as well as a chewiness that compliments the buttery mushrooms so well. If you’re a fan of mushroom and barley soup, you’ll really love this salad! The addition of sundried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese really bumps up the flavour too. I used cremini and oyster mushrooms, but honestly any mushroom would do. Butter is melted in a skillet and the mushrooms are browned then sautéed with shallots, garlic, and thyme. Your house will smell incredible! Everything is tossed together along with chopped herbs from the garden, oil from the sundried tomato jar and a splash of lemon juice. This is a summery salad that showcases how meaty and delicious mushrooms can be.


Barley Salad with Buttery Mushrooms and Herbs

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 15 min

Servings: 6



  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 4 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 8 oz cremini or button mushrooms, sliced in half or quartered if large
  • 4 oz oyster mushrooms, torn into large pieces
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4-5 thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp oil from sundried tomato jar or olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper



  1. Rinse the barley and place in a medium pot. Cover with at least 2-inch of water and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until Drain, then spread onto a baking sheet to cool quickly. When it’s cool, place in a large bowl.


  1. In a 12-inch skillet, melt 3 Tbsp of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, stir a few times then try to get them flat-side down. Leave them undisturbed for 3 minutes so they get nice and browned. Stir, then add the remaining butter, shallots, garlic, and thyme sprigs. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the shallots are browned, and the mushrooms are Remove the thyme sprigs.


  1. Stir the warm mushrooms into the barley. Add the chopped herbs, sundried tomatoes, oil, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a bit more lemon juice too, if you Can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.



Be sure to follow along with Renee on her blog Sweetsugarbean, on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Instagram!

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