Friday, 28 October 2011

Squash & Barley Bake

Here's another favourite recipe that I've been making for years. I like using pearl barley because it's cheap* & has a lovely nutty flavour that goes beautifully with squash. If you're feeling flush, pearled spelt works really well too. If you've been organised enough to soak them overnight, sprouted wheat berries are delicious too.

Squash & Barley bake

175g Pearl barley
600ml vegetable stock
1 onion, sliced
2 tbs vegetable oil
450g winter squash, peeled & cut into 2cm-ish chunks
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
200g passata (or fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped)
50g stilton or strong cheddar
1 tbs sage, chopped
salt & pepper

Rinse pearl barley & put in a pan with the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil & simmer for 40 minutes, or until barley is tender. Preheat oven to 180C/350F & grease a large ovenproof dish. Heat the oil in a pan & fry onion until translucent. Add the squash, mushrooms & sage & cook for 5 minutes. Add passata (or chopped tomatoes) & simmer until squash is tender, adding a little water if necessary. Stir in the barley & season. Pour into the ovenproof dish & top with the cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted & golden. Serve with a salad, or if it's too cold for salad some steamed green beans or peas. This was eaten with some roasted beetroot - om nom nom!

*It kept us well fed in the as poor as a mouse that has just had a visit from the We Break Thumbs Collection Agency years.

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