Friday, November 26, 2010

Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash

This was so delicious - and healthy! The pearl barley provides 50% more protein than standard rice. It also has 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving (long-grain brown rice only provides 1.75). The butternut squash is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, potassium, and fiber. We enjoyed this as a side dish with turkey breast the first night. The next night we added mushrooms, spinach, and shredded chicken to the leftovers for a one-dish meal.

Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash
From: Country Living Magazine

2 1/2 cups peeled, chopped butternut squash
2  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
         salt and ground black pepper
5 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie broth
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups pearled barley
3/4 cup dry white wine (I used a Sauvignon blanc)
1  teaspoon fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
         zest of 1 lemon
3/4  cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (we didn't use cheese and it was still delish!)

1. HEAT oven to 400F. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking pan and roast until tender, about 25 minutes, turning once halfway through. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring broth to a gentle boil: then reduce heat to low. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onion, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add barley and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add wine and stir constantly until absorbed for about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup broth, 1 teaspoon thyme, and lemon zest; stir frequently until liquid is absorbed.

3. Repeat with remaining broth, adding 1/2 cup at a time, until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Gently fold in the squash and garnish with thyme.

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