Chefs' Recipes

Guy Grossi’s pearl barley polenta

This version of polenta might swap out the traditional cornmeal for barley, but it's still just as hearty and comforting.
Pearl barley polenta

Pearl barley polenta

Ben Dearnley
1H 15M
1H 35M

“This ‘polenta’, made with barley, is a great alternative to corn polenta or mashed potato,” says chef Guy Grossi. “It’s both hearty and comforting, and works particularly well with braised dishes – a lovely way to use barley.”



1.Place pearl barley and bay leaf in a saucepan, cover with 1 litre cold water and simmer over medium heat, adding more water if necessary, until barley is tender (45 minutes to 1 hour). Drain and transfer to a bowl.
2.Meanwhile, bring 1 litre water to the boil, season with ¾ tsp salt and whisk in ground barley. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until almost tender but slightly al dente (24-26 minutes).
3.Fold pearl barley through the ground barley and season to taste. Serve drizzled with oil and scattered with freshly grated Pecorino Romano.

Garum’s chefs grind their own barley; we suggest using fine or crushed white pearl barley, then grinding it a little further (but still coarsely) with a mortar and pestle.


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