Pic of Mushrooms, kale and barley with fresh herbs and baked eggs

Mushrooms, kale and barley with fresh herbs and baked eggs

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Vegetarian mains

Mushrooms, kale and barley with fresh herbs and baked eggs

Main Serves 2 45 min
This is an easy, two-pan dish with plenty of umami (savoury) flavour from the mushrooms, particularly the dried mushroom liquor that acts like a little stock.

Cook's notes

The eggs may take longer than you think to cook in the pan. I like mine with quite a runny yolk, but if you prefer yours more set, pop them in a hot oven to cook through for speed. If you do decide to oven-bake, the eggs will film over on top, so you won't have the same bright yellow yolk visible.


  • 5g dried mushrooms
  • 200g kale
  • 1 onion
  • oil for frying, e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 175g pearl barley
  • 1 garlic clove (use 2 if you particularly like garlic)
  • 200g fresh mushrooms
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 30g parsley
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper
Image of Mushrooms, kale and barley with fresh herbs and baked eggs


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 35 min
  • Step 1

    Boil a kettle. Put the dried mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl, or use a mug. Add 200ml hot water and leave them to soak. Put a large pan of water on to boil (use the leftover kettle water to start things off). Strip the leaves off the tougher central kale stalks.
  • Step 2

    Discard the stalks and give the leaves a good wash. Peel and finely slice the onion. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick frying pan. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring now and then to stop it catching. Add a splash of water if it looks like it might.
  • Step 3

    Once the pan of water comes to the boil, add the kale leaves. Boil for 4 minutes. Scoop them out into a colander, leaving the water boiling in the pan. Refresh them under cold water, then drain. Add the pearl barley to the same pan of water.
  • Step 4

    Boil for about 25 minutes, until just tender but still with a little bite. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop or crush 1 garlic clove. Clean the mushrooms with a damp piece of kitchen paper or clean cloth. Slice them up. Pick the leaves off 5 good thyme sprigs.
  • Step 5

    Wash the parsley. After 10 minutes of cooking, add the garlic, mushrooms and thyme leaves to the onion. Increase the heat a little and fry, stirring now and then, for 4-5 minutes, until the mushrooms have softened.
  • Step 6

    Once the barley is just tender, drain and stir into the mushrooms, adding the dried mushrooms and their soaking liquor (if any dried mushrooms are very large, you could chop before adding). Season with salt and pepper. Heat until bubbling, then make 4 wells in between the barley and veg.
  • Step 7

    Add a tiny splash of oil to each, to help the eggs along. Crack 1 egg into each well. Heat very gently for about 8 minutes (see cook's note). Keep an eye on the pan as the eggs cook and add a splash of water if needs be, to stop the barley and veg catching on the bottom of the pan.
  • Step 8

    Check the seasoning. Scatter over the parsley and dish up between 2 serving plates or bowls, taking care not to break the eggs (don't worry if you do, it won't affect the flavour!).

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