Herbed Barley and Broccoli Pilaf Side Dish

As I chopped broccoli florets for this barley pilaf, it occurred to me that I was missing out.



I was wasting perfectly good food. The broccoli stalks I was about to dump into the compost bin would be a healthy addition to my pilaf.

True, I’d have to peel them and chop them into smaller pieces, but the bigger question was when to add them to the pan.

Barley and Broccoli Pilaf

Knowing that my chopped broccoli stalks would take longer to cook, I decided to dump them into the pan with my onions.

It was the perfect solution. Sweating the broccoli with the onion gave it a sweet flavor that blended well with my nutty barley and fresh herbs.

Barley and Broccoli Pilaf

Barley and Broccoli Pilaf

Can you see the chopped broccoli stems in this easy side dish? They’re hard to distinguish from the onions, aren’t they?

Barley and Broccoli Pilaf

Barley and Broccoli Pilaf

No more wasting broccoli stalks for me! I’m already conjuring up new uses for my latest discovery.

Happy, healthy cooking!

Barley and Broccoli Pilaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup broccoli stems, peeled, then diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, fresh minced
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups barley, cooked
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onion and broccoli stems and cook for 3 - 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add garlic, thyme and broccoli florets with vegetable broth and simmer until very tender.
  3. Add lemon juice, barley and parsley and cook another few minutes until heated through.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4 - 1 cup servings
Calories: 187kcal
Weight Watchers PointsPlus 5
Saturated fatty acids: 0.63g
Monounsaturated fatty acids: 2.55g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0.59g
Total fat: 3.78g
Calories from fat: 33
Cholesterol: --
Carbohydrate, by difference: 35.25g
Total dietary fiber: 7.12g
Protein: 5.79g
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 - 1 cup servings

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Thank you for sharing!



  1. says

    Loads of flavor in this dish. I always worry about wasting broccoli stalks, too. Sometimes I freeze them for soup, but more often I do what you did – add them to the dish. If you chop them small enough (a bit of a pain) you can add them when you do the rest of the broccoli. I like your method of adding them with the onions – I’ll definitely give that a try. Thanks!

    • says

      I saw another cook slice them into medallions and stir fry them. I thought that was a terrific idea. I could do that with stir fried rice. I’m certainly not going to waste them anymore. :)

    • says

      That’s a good idea too. It never occurred to me to make a pureed broccoli soup from them. I have a ton of the woodier stems from the asparagus for Easter. I wonder if that would work too.

    • says

      I’m having fun experimenting with whole grains these days. Trader Joe’s has a variety to choose from, and they’re all so inexpensive. Have a terrific week to come. :)

  2. says

    I’m with you – broccoli stalks often get discarded but then you miss out on all the lovely flavors and nutrients they hold. A little bit of peeling and chopped and they’re a fantastic addition to any dish.

    • says

      I admit that I’m a bit ashamed that I’ve composted them in day gone by. You’re so right. Just a bit of peeling and they’re very tender and tasty.

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