¼ cup pearled barley
½ cup of water or vegetable broth
2 portabella mushrooms
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup oyster mushrooms, chopped
1 roasted red pepper
1 16 ounce can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon capers
2 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Place the water or broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the barley, reduce heat, cover and cook until tender, about 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the stems and gills from the portabella mushrooms. Set aside.
Place the roasted red pepper, tomatoes, lemon juice, pepper and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and add the garlic, capers, green onions, tarragon and optional red pepper for more heat. Simmer over medium heat while cooking the mushrooms.
Place the oyster mushrooms in a large non-stick skillet and sear over medium heat until they brown. Remove and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add the portabellas and the balsamic vinegar. Cook gently until the portabellas just begin to soften and sweat, adding tiny amounts of water to keep the vinegar from burning.
To serve, place the portabellas on individual plates, gill(less) side up. Divide the cooked barley into each mushroom, top with the seared oyster mushrooms, and ladle the sauce over the top.
Hints: This recipe may easily be doubled or tripled to serve more guests. The barley may be prepared ahead of time and reheated just before assembling. The sauce may also be prepared earlier and reheated. For presentation, sprinkle some extra fresh cut tarragon or chives over the top of the stack before serving. If you can’t find oyster mushrooms, any other small mushroom will work.