Any mushroom will do here. The barley is such a classic combination with mushrooms, that I’m reluctant to suggest any other substitution. The addition of celery, onion, and parsley was inspired by mushroom barley soup. I added the scallions for an additional layer of flavor. Other than that, I kept these simple to allow the earthiness of the mushrooms to stand out and the chewiness of the barley to create textural interest.
Vegetable patties and burgers are frequently lackluster because they are so dense that the flavors become muted and jumbled. Add a bit more salt and pepper, strong herbs (I was a bit lazy when making these and didn’t go out to the herb garden for a handful of thyme), and some zing like cumin, hot pepper, harissa, paprika, dried or prepared mustard, tomato paste or sun-dried tomatoes, or garam masala (curry powder). I held back on zing and served them with Tomato Peach Chutney.
The locally grown celery was quite tough compared to succulent, blanched celery from the supermarket, so I minced it quite fine and cooked it with the onions for a long, slow saute. By only using 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the vegetables remained quite dry and kept the patties from becoming saturated with fat. With lots of eggs to hold it all together and a crispy fry in a lighter cooking oil, created a full, rich flavor.
These freeze very well.
- 1 cup hulled barley
- 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 6 stalks celery, very finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
- 12 large shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed and finely chopped, about 4 cups
- 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 6 scallions, finely sliced
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup Panko or dry breadcrumbs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- Rinse barley and place in a medium-size pot with the water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until tender. Turn off the heat and cool to room temperature.
- While the barley is cooking, Place the olive oil, onions, and celery in a large skillet and saute over medium-low heat for 20 minute, until the onions are beginning to brown. Add the garlic and mushrooms and saute for 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked through and dry.
- Add the parsley, scallions, and pepper and cook for another 1 minute.
- Place the cooked barley and onion mushroom mixture in a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Clean skillet.
- Add eggs and stir thoroughly to mix. Add breadcrumbs to bind. Form into small patties.
- Heat vegetable oil in the skillet and pan-fry the patties until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook other side. Do not overload pan, allowing plenty of room between the patties. Fry in batches. Drain on paper towels.
- Serve hot or freeze for later consumption.
I have a new (very cool) pattie/burger press that works quite well. Lewis is a master fryer, so I left him to it and he used the smaller side for this recipe.