Pearl barley with salsify and currants

Pearl barley with salsify and currants

30 mins
Cooking time
35 mins
Françoise Nicol

AD— Protect your hands with disposable gloves when peeling the salsify, otherwise they will turn black. When peeled the skin gives off a milk that oxidises very quickly, which is also why you need lemon water.

PN— Salsify is particularly high in fibre, but has few vitamins and mineral salts; pearl barley has none, but this is made up for by the currants and onions and their tops, which are rich in these nutrients.


Quantity Ingredient
a small handful currants
a bundle salsify
1 lemon, juiced
4 small fresh onions with stalks
1 garlic clove
1.2 litres Chicken stock
A splash olive oil
300g pearl barley
150ml white wine
1/2 Salt-preserved lemons
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Soak a small handful of currants in a bowl of water.
  2. Peel and wash a bundle of salsify, place the salsify in water with the juice of 1 lemon as you go, then slice at an angle.
  3. Peel and wash 4 small fresh onions with stalks, chop all the tender part of the stalks and slice the bulbs. Crush 1 garlic clove without peeling it.
  4. Heat 1.2 litres of chicken stock in a saucepan.
  5. Heat a splash of olive oil in a flameproof casserole dish, and roll the salsify in it along with the sliced onion bulbs and the garlic clove. Cover the casserole dish with a lid and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes until they are nice and golden.
  6. Add 300 g of pearl barley, stir and cook for just 1 minute, then add 150 ml of white wine and let it absorb.
  7. Rinse half a salt-preserved lemon, cut into small slivers, and add to the casserole dish.
  8. Drain the currants and add them.
  9. Stir the mixture well and add a good ladleful of the chicken stock. Continue to cook for 30 minutes, adding more chicken stock as it is absorbed.
  10. Take the skin off the garlic clove. Add the chopped onion tops, stir carefully for 1 or 2 minutes. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  11. Serve in the casserole dish or in a serving dish.
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