List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die
Food items: Pearl Barley and Juniper
55p. You can get a bag of pearl barley for 55p and it has taken me this long to actually cook with it. My only excuse for not doing this earlier is that with a list that is so long you cannot possibly remember every single thing on it. I mean, look at how I recently went to America and didn’t even think of getting any Dry Jack cheese. Inexcusable!
Still, I’m doing it now whilst also crossing off a rather easy to find spice: juniper. If I drank at all I could have been cheeky and crossed off juniper whilst sipping on a gin & tonic, but no I need to do this the proper way.
So what can you make using pearl barley and juniper berries?
The only time I have ever had juniper before was as a flavouring for sauerkraut. So why mess with a good thing? Personally I am not a big fan of eating the juniper berries as they are too piney for my taste. They do, however, impart a nice resinous aromatic flavour to the sauerkraut. Although, if you want to add juniper berries to your sauerkraut you may want to add a few teaspoon of brown sugar to balance them out a bit.
As for the pearl barley – I am genuinely shocked at how nice it was. Okay so on it’s own the pearl barley is pretty tasteless. However, it is easily able to take on flavour and is gloriously chewy when it plumps up. A big thanks to this recipe and a generous addition of grated grana padano cheese for helping me me make the most of this ingredient.