Gluten Free Grains: Job’s Tears

Job’s Tears is a grain that is nearly unknown in the US.  Although it is a gluten free grain, it is often referred to as Chinese Pearl Barley.

Read more about Job’s Tears on my Squidoo Lens:  Gluten Free Grains!

Swiss Chard with White Beans and Job’s Tears

Gluten Free Grains -- Job's Tears

  • 1/2 cup uncooked Job’s tears (or barley, farro, buckwheat groats, or spelt) or 1 cup cooked hominy
  • 1 bunch chard, about 12 ounces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 16 ounces Great Northern beans (1 can, drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 8 kalamata olives, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • generous grating black pepper
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cook the Job’s tears or your choice of grain according to package directions. For Job’s tears, I used 2 cups of water and cooked, covered, on low for an hour. Then I drained the water off before proceeding with the recipe.
  2. Remove the stems from the chard just where the leaf meets the stem. Chop each stem into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside. Slice the leaves into 1/2-inch slices and keep separate from the stems.
  3. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the chard stems and the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until the onion begins to turn golden. Add water a tablespoon at a time to prevent sticking, if necessary. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
  4. Add the cooked Job’s tears, beans, tomatoes, basil, and olives and bring to a simmer. Add the chard leaves, reduce heat to medium, and cover tightly. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender (allow 5-12 minutes, depending on your taste). Add the nutritional yeast and vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste

Notes:  If chard is unavailable, kale makes a good substitute, though you may not need the balsamic vinegar, which I use to cut the bitter flavor of the chard.


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