Pressure Cooker Barley

Everybody’s been talking about Mark Bittman’s new plan to be vegan until dinnertime. Suddenly, he’s all about stocking your refrigerator with whole grains like barley, quinoa, and spelt, and snacking on them all week. Poor guy—no one seems to have told him that couscous isn’t really a whole grain. The thing is, he’s making it harder than it has to be because he either has not discovered, or has not deigned to share, the fact that most whole grains are better made in the pressure cooker. Really.

The key to cooking most grains in the pressure cooker is to cook them in a pan within a pan, like so:

Combine 1 cup of barley with 2 1/2 c. of water or stock in a small pan, cover it securely with foil, then place the whole apparatus on the cooking rack in your pressure cooker. Add 2 c. of water (just to create steam). Cook at 15 pounds of pressure for 12 minutes, then let the pressure drop of its own accord.

Soon, you’ll have this:

It was a hair watery at first, but after I let it sit for about 10 minutes all was well.

Your pressure cooker should come with a grains cooking chart, or you can check out Miss Vickie’s (though note 18 minutes strikes me as too long for barley).

Happy health eating!

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