1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1/4 cup white wine
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cut the squash into chunks small enough to fit through the feeding tube of your food processor. Fit the food processor with the shredding blade and shred the squash. (You will have about 6 cups of shredded squash.) Set aside.
In a saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter (or warm the olive oil) over medium-high heat. Add the barley and sauté until grains are golden brown and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the leek and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring, until the liquid has almost completely reduced, about 1 minute.
Add the shredded squash, stock, thyme and salt, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until barley is cooked through but still chewy and squash is falling apart. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately, topped with a sprinkling of toasted pecans and grated cheese, if desired.
Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side dish.
• This recipe works well with other hard winter squashes, such as kabocha, buttercup and pumpkin.
• Use olive oil instead of butter, vegetable stock instead of chicken, and skip the cheese to make this recipe as a very satisfying vegan main dish.
Uploaded: Mar 12, 2014