Unfortunately we had to postpone our Friends Thanksgiving this weekend due to a health scare in the family as my grandfather-in-law recently accepted hospice care. The news brought a deep sadness into our home, but in this season of giving thanks I tip my hat to hospice and the incredible service that they provide. Their ability to nurture individuals in their final days while also supporting and educating their family members is without match. It is people like this, who do purpose driven work, that re-lift my spirits and give me a bit of hope.
As for this dish, I had been searching for a simple grain salad to add to our chicken provencal feast last weekend. This pilaf stood out to me as it seemed to be filling, consisted of simple flavors,and was made with ingredients that were already in our pantry. The first recipe I found was this one, but then I decided to follow this one from Eating Well.
Everyone enjoyed this dish, and thought it complimented the rest of the meal, but some did say that it tasted a bit bland on its own. The original recipe says to serve with parmesan cheese which I will try next time, and depending on what else it is served with might experiment with some other flavors like crushed red pepper, curry, or thyme. It feels like a canvas waiting for a bit more!
- 1 medium onion – chopped
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1/5 cups of water
- 1 cup pearled barley
- 1 cups of cubed butternut squash (bite sized pieces)
- Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves – minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Ground pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
Steps and Notes:
- In a large soup pot, heat a bit of oil and saute the onion. Sprinkle with some of the salt and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add 1 clove of garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Quickly rinse the barley and add it to the pot with the water, broth, and squash. Simmer covered for about 45 minutes (removing at the end if necessary so that all of the liquid absorbs).
- Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, half of the parsley salt and pepper. Mix gently.
- Top the dish with the remaining parsley and serve warm
Thoughts for Next Time:
- Top it with grated cheese (how did I miss that)
- Mix in a bit of wilted arugula
- Experiment with flavors like paprika, curry, or thyme
- Replace the veggie with another like mushrooms, broccoli, or leeks and lemon!