Barley is best known as an ingredient in beer and soup. Creamy and possessing a fairly neutral flavor when cooked, pearl barley is easy to serve in place of rice; because it’s so starchy, pearl barley can be treated just like Arborio rice for risotto. Whole barley, with its protective layer of bran intact, plumps nicely when cooked. Barley flour, when toasted, has a strong nutty flavor; try adding it to breads. A great source of fiber, 1/2 cup of pearl barley offers more than 12 grams.