Portobello Mushrooms and Barley over Mesclun

Total Time
47 min
14 min
33 min
This warm salad takes advantage of the restaurant technique of reducing balsamic vinegar to a thick syrup to intensify its flavor.


balsamic vinegar

½ cup(s)

packed brown sugar

1½ tsp

olive oil

1 Tbsp, extra-virgin

uncooked shallot(s)

1 Tbsp, finely chopped

table salt

½ tsp

black pepper

tsp, freshly ground

portobello mushroom(s)

12 oz, stems discarded, caps wiped clean

uncooked pearl barley

½ cup(s), quick-cooking

uncooked carrot(s)

¼ cup(s), chopped

fresh mixed greens

6 oz, or 4 cups of mesclun


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line the broiler pan with heavy-duty foil.
  2. To make the dressing, bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan; boil until it is reduced to 3 tablespoons, 4–5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the oil, shallot, salt, and pepper.
  3. Scrape away the black “gills” from the underside of the mushroom caps with the tip of a small spoon; discard. Place the mushrooms, rounded-side up, in the broiler pan. Brush the tops of the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Bake 15 minutes. Cover the mushrooms with a foil tent and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the barley according to package directions, adding the carrot during the last 3 minutes of cooking time; drain.
  5. Slice the mushrooms and toss with the barley and 2 tablespoons of the dressing in a bowl. Toss the mesclun with the remaining 1–2 tablespoons dressing and divide between 2 plates. Spoon the mushroom mixture on top of the salad and serve. Yields 2 1/3 cups barley mixture and 11/2 cups salad per serving.


It’s great for coating these mushrooms and creating a rich dressing.Try drizzling reduced balsamic vinegar decoratively on dinner plates around chicken or pork chops, spooning a bit of it over fresh fruit, or whisking it into a favorite salad dressing.

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