Barley & Bow-Tie Pilaf with California Figs, Lemon and Thyme

valleyfiggrowers@alkalyne.comFiber Rich, Recipes, Side Dishes

barley bow tie pilaf

Barley & Bow-Tie Pilaf with California Figs, Lemon and Thyme

Lemon, thyme bow tie pasta with figs makes a satisfying side dish. Serve leftovers as bow tie pasta salad inside a hollowed, halved bell pepper or cantaloupe.
barley bow tie pilaf
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided use
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces bow-tie pasta
  • 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed and halved or quartered
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • Salt to taste (optional)


  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is golden. Add barley; stir for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to toast. Add 1 1/4 cups chicken broth, cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 35 minutes. Add figs (and remaining broth if needed), recover and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, cook pasta as package directs. Drain pasta and turn into serving bowl. Toss with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in cooked barley and figs, nuts, thyme, parsley, lemon zest and salt. Serve warm.


Entrée Variation: Stir in 1/2 pound browned lean turkey or chicken sausage chunks.
Leftover Lunch: Toss chilled pilaf with your favorite salad dressing and serve in a cantaloupe or bell pepper half. Or, spoon into whole grain pita bread for an on-the-go lunch.
Photography David Campbell

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