Rustic Artichoke Sauce with Barley

This was a delicious dinner my husband and I put together for dinner tonight.  Typically there would be garlic in a sauce like this but found we didn’t need it with the umami presented by the olives.  This would be equally wonderful served with whole grain spaghetti.



Sauce ingredients:

2 -15 oz. cans artichoke hearts quartered, packed in water, drained

8 oz. sliced button mushrooms

1 yellow onion, diced

8 oz. assorted kalamata and green olives, pitted

6 oz. jar roasted red peppers, packed in water, drained & chopped

1 box Pomi, chopped tomatoes

1 jar capers, drained and rinsed (optional)

½ to 1 cup Madeira wine

¼ t. roasted red pepper flakes

2 t. dried oregano

 Salt & pepper to taste

Fresh lemon


Barley ingredients:

2 cups of hulled barley, soaked

9 cups vegetable stock or water

1 bay leaf

1 t. dried oregano



Place the soaked barley, vegetable stock and salt in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.  Once the liquid has reached the boiling temperature, reduce the heat to low and add the bay leaf and oregano then cover.  Cook for approximately one hour or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.   Save about 1 cup of cooking liquid for the sauce and set aside.


While the barley is cooking, dry sauté the onion and mushrooms in a large skillet. 

Once the onions and mushrooms have started to caramelize and reduce in size, pour the wine in the bottom of the skillet and stir.  Next add the artichokes, olives, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, capers, red pepper flakes, barley reserve water, oregano, salt & pepper and mix well.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cover.  Let the sauce continue to cook while the barley is cooking.


Once the barley is done, pour sauce over the barley then give a light squeeze of lemon and serve with a nice salad and crusty bread.