Mix oil and garlic. In a large bowl, toss the oil with all the vegetables and season well with salt and pepper. On a hot grill, mark and cook the vegetables. Place all the vegetables back in same bowl and seal with plastic wrap to finish cooking. When the vegetables are cool chop everything except the scallions into small pieces and pour any leftover liquid into the vegetable stock. In a 1 quart saucier, add a little butter and saute the shallots. Add the barley and saute for 5 minutes until the barley gets a little 'toasty.' Ladle in stock, one ladle at a time, (like making risotto). Continue adding stock until the barley gets 'creamy.' Season. Add back the vegetables and heat thoroughly. Add the cheese. Check for seasoning.
In a large pasta bowl, place a mound of barley on the top half of the plate. Slice the Marinated Portobello Mushrooms like it was a steak. Fan out in front of barley and garnish with Basil Oil and basil sprig.
Mix all together, taste for seasoning and marinate mushroom caps for 1 hour. On a very hot grill, mark and cook caps until hot in the middle.
In very salted water, blanch basil and spinach for 30 seconds, or until very soft, yet still green. Plunge in ice bath and squeeze out water. Blend at high speed and add salt and the oil. Cover blender and blend for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cup becomes warm.
Copyright 1998, Ming Tsai, All Rights Reserved