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Posts Tagged ‘Shrimp Barley Paella’

March 27th, 2014

Pearl Barley Paella, Shrimp, One Pot, Easy, Nutritious, Delicious, Rehoboth Beach Eats!

Using pearl barley instead of rice when making a paella might not be looked upon as the traditional Spanish dish.  But, after having 50 pounds of pearl barley sitting in my freezer, every time I see dishes incorporating this healthy grain, I try them.

It is so interesting because since we got the pearl barley many of the magazines offering new and innovative ways of cooking, barley has become center of attention.

Pearl barley has a very low glycemic index, no cholesterol or salt.

Paella recipes for the most part have a pinch of saffron added to the pot.  Saffron is very expensive.  You can use smoked paprika instead and it will be just as good.

Paellas also turn to be dryer and I prefer my paella to have more broth than usual.  So, needless to say that my easy one pot wonder is a tad different.  I find recipes, I change them to my taste and then make them my own.

This Barley Paella has medium shrimp, but feel free to make it with bite size pieces of chicken, or a combination of both.


1 cup barley

2 1/2 cups water

3 tablespoons Olive oil

1 onion chopped (any size)

1 small red pepper, cut in strips

1 small yellow pepper, cut in strips

1 small fennel bulb, remove stalks, cut also in strips

2 large garlic cloves crushed

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 1/4 cups of vegetable stock, heated

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pound medium shrimp

1 cup peas

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups marinated artichokes, drained and quartered

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved

Mix the barley with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover and boil for about 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it sit for an hour.  You want the water to be absorbed.

Peel the shrimp and place the shells in a saucepan with the vegetable stock.  Heat and cook for about 5 minutes, turn off and let it sit.  This will give added flavor to the broth. Discard shells before adding to the pot.


Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.  I don’t have a paella pan so I used the largest pan I could find.  Add onions, cooking until soft, then add the peppers and fennel.  Cook for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for a bit longer.


Add bay leaves, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne. Mix in the barley.  Cook for a few minutes and add the vinegar, 2 cups of stocks and salt (optional).  Bring to a simmer.


Stir and cook until liquid reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until some of the liquid is absorbed.

Stir in shrimp, peas, tomatoes, artichokes, olives and remaining 1/2 of stock.  Simmer for a couple of minutes and then turn off the heat.  Cover and let it rest 10 minutes or until shrimp are just cooked through.


I served the Shrimp Pearl Barley Paella over steamed asparagus and to tell you the truth it was so good!!

I also sprinkled a few peas over the dish for added color.



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