- Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan, add the onion and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the red pepper and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Reserve a few mushrooms and set aside to garnish the dish.
- Stir in the barley, add the stock, oregano and pepper, then mix well. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, add a lid and simmer, stirring regularly.
- After about 25 minutes, remove the lid and continue simmering for around 10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and any excess is boiled off.
- The barley should be cooked but still firm ('al dente').
- Stir through the cream alternative and the fresh basil, then serve with freshly ground black pepper, sprinkled with the reserved basil and mushrooms.
- Any mushrooms work for this dish but a combination of different types is ideal. You can buy mixed packs of wild mushrooms at most supermarkets, then bulk them up with a pack of basic mushrooms.
- Freezability: Suitable for freezing once cooked. Chill quickly. Defrost in the fridge and reheat thoroughly until piping-hot throughout.