We really like the texture of barley – it’s robust, nutty in flavour and slightly chewy. It’s also healthy and high in B vitamins. If you wanted to, you could try this recipe using buckwheat or quinoa. The bread sauce adds some extra nuttiness with macadamias.






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  • 200 g pearl barley
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 pinch chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 200 g oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 200 g enoki mushrooms
  • 200 g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 French shallot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 lemon, zested, to serve
  • baby herbs, to serve

Macadamia bread sauce

  • 300 g sourdough bread, roughly chopped
  • 200 ml water
  • 40 ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 10 macadamia nuts

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the bread sauce, put the bread, water, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and nuts in a food processor and blend until smooth. Season to taste and set aside.

Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the barley, then simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Drain, tip the barley back into the pan and add the olive oil and parsley and season with salt and pepper.

While the barley is cooking, sauté the mushrooms and shallot in the grapeseed oil for about 2 minutes until golden. Check the seasoning.

Spoon the barley into warm bowls, top with the mushrooms, add a small scoop of the bread sauce and sprinkle with the lemon zest and lots of baby herbs.


Recipes and images from Three Blue Ducks by Mark LaBrooy & Darren Robertson, published by Plum, rrp $39.99.