Mujadara (and Fiddleheads)

Last night for dinner, I made Mujadara for the first time. The recipe originally comes from an entry from Orangette’s blog, and I’d been meaning to have a go at it for awhile now.


The recipe called for brown lentils, but since we had pearl barley on hand, I ended up using the latter instead. I imagine it gave the dish a different flavouring than originally intended, but I was pleased with the result regardless. Unfortunately, the hour I spent caramelizing the onions ended on a somewhat less pleasing note – the bottom of the saucepan burned, and it took until this afternoon to have it completely cleaned. Worst of all, in my attempt to ‘boil’ the grunge off (thanks, eHow), I left the pot boiling so long that the water completely evaporated! Yes, that meant it was officially doubly stuck on.


Not my finest domestic moment, but I have to take some credit for the elbow grease that made the saucepan sparkling clean again. We ended up with leftovers, and true to Orangette’s word, the dish was yummier today reheated than it was yesterday. I think the simplicity of this recipe is its biggest draw – it’s missing a wow factor that I usually look for in keeper recipes, but it’s healthy and a no-brainer when there isn’t much else going in the fridge or pantry. We had it with fiddleheads, which are of course in season at the moment. Truthfully, fiddleheads are not my best friends. I find them a little more ‘rustic’, shall we say, than I’m used to. But I’m trying. I want to like them. And so there’s no time like the present, right?


Here is my recipe, which is a variation on the recipe from Orangette, whose site include the cooking instructions as well.

1 large ‘glug’ olive oil
5 medium yellow onions (about 1 ½ lb.), finely chopped
1 cup pearl barley (soaked overnight, if you’re more organized than me)
½ cup basmati rice
1 tsp. salt, plus more for serving


About Meredith

Just another twenty-something crafter, with a penchant for delicious home cooking, the English countryside, and knitting.
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3 Responses to Mujadara (and Fiddleheads)

  1. Rain says:

    What a simple recipe! But 5 onions?!? Might be a bit much for me. Especially with the possibility that my pan would suffer the same fate as yours ;-). Well done on getting it cleaned up! I’ve never tried fiddleheads, but have wanted to for so long. I suspect they are best sauted in butter, but since I don’t eat dairy, I fear they’d be less tasty than the could be….so I hold off on trying them. How did you prepare them?

    • Meredith says:

      I ended up broiling them in the oven, just a couple minutes on each side, with a bit of olive oil/salt/pepper sprinkled on top. I don’t know if this is the best way – they turned out a little greasier than I would have liked, but this is definitely my go-to way of cooking brussel sprouts!

  2. Rosemary says:

    What on earth is a fiddlehead?? I’ve never seen those before! I wonder if my fiance has had them–he loves trying new things, especially vegetables. The mujadara looks pretty good. 🙂

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