In Practice we often say “It’s Not What But How.” This is very true in the kitchen. Some of the most elegant meals are put together from simple ingredients. Something like a grain, bean, and vegetable can be less than exciting if the “how” is not brought to preparation. What ingredient would be happy to be served with another? What would complement? How can I bring the most care and respect to the cooking of these ingredients? In practicing with the “how” the following simple meal was created: Simple barley pilaf, baby lima beans, roasted butternut squash, steamed greens, and roasted pumpkin seeds. Here is the recipe for Simple Barley Pilaf inspired by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. We hope you love it as much as we do.
Simple Barley Pilaf
Yield: 6 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
1 cup medium pearl barley (not quick cooking barley)
¼ cup pine nuts or almonds, optional
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
3½ cups veggie broth
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray a large cast iron skillet with olive oil and add the barley, nuts (if using), garlic and onions. Saute the mixture, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender and the barley is golden. Scrape the mixture into a 3-quart backing dish and stir in the salt, pepper and veggie broth.
Bake uncovered for 60-80 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the barley is tender. Garnish with green onions, if desired.