serves 4

Barley is a delicious, nutty, and often overlooked grain. Be sure to get quick-cooking pearl barley for this recipe, since regular barley takes much longer to cook.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup chopped onions

1½ cups vegetable broth (page 15) or water

¾ cup quick-cooking pearl barley

Salt

2 cups small broccoli florets

1 (16-ounce) can Great Northern beans or

other white beans, drained and rinsed

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and barley and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and add salt to taste. (You will need more salt if using water instead of broth.) Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli, cover, and continue cooking until the broccoli is cooked and the barley is tender, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the beans and heat until hot.