1¼ cups hulled, hull-less, or pearled barley
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced into rounds
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup chives, finely chopped
In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups salted water to a boil. Add barley, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until barley is tender, 30–40 minutes; drain.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and 2 Tbsp. water and season with salt. Cover and cook until leeks have wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in barley, lemon zest, and buttermilk. Cook 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir in chives and adjust seasoning with additional salt, if desired.