Herb barley salad with butter-braised mushrooms

By Bianca Osbourne
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Bianca Osbourne shares her favourite make-ahead Thanksgiving side dish: herb barley salad served with rich and decadent butter-braised mushrooms, topped with parmesan, parsley and lemon juice. 




  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup hulled, hull-less, or pearl barley

Shallot Oil for Serving

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Butter-Braised Mushrooms

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz. mushrooms (such as maitake, chanterelle, and/or oyster), torn or cut into large pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces parmesan, shaved, plus more for serving


For the Barley 

  1. Cook barley in a medium pot of boiling salted water until tender, 50–60 minutes for hulled or hulless, 20–30 minutes for pearl.
  2. Drain; spread out on a baking sheet and let cool.

For the Shallot Oil

  1. Meanwhile, cook shallots in vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, swirling pan occasionally to keep shallots from burning, until golden brown, five to seven minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to paper towels to drain; season with salt. Let cool. Set shallot cooking oil aside.

For the Butter-Braised Mushrooms

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high until just beginning to smoke. Arrange mushrooms in a skillet in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until undersides are golden brown, about three minutes.
  2. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper, toss, and continue to cook, tossing often and reducing heat as needed to avoid scorching, until golden brown all over, about five minutes longer.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add thyme sprigs, garlic, and butter to the skillet.
  4. Tip skillet toward you so butter pools at edge and use a spoon to baste mushrooms with foaming butter; cook until butter smells nutty.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to a small bowl, leaving thyme and garlic behind.

Build the Salad

  1. Toss cooled barley, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, 1 1/2 oz. Parmesan, and two tablespoons reserved shallot oil in a large bowl to combine; season with salt and pepper. Add mushrooms; toss again to combine.
  2. Just before serving, top with fried shallots and more shaved Parmesan. Serve and enjoy!

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