Barley and Vegetable Ragout
When facing a busy week, we appreciate a one-dish make-ahead option. This satisfying vegetarian meal awakens barley’s earthy overtones—a perfect backdrop for savory winter vegetables. Serves 6.
- 1¾ cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- ¾ cup barley, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced (about 1½ cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ½ pound mushrooms, quartered
- ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
- 4 cups vegetables cut in ½ inch cubes (e.g. carrots, parsnips, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, yam)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 15 ounce can tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into strips
- ½ cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, sage
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add barley, cover pan and reduce heat to low for 30-40 minutes until barley is tender and broth is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, prepare all vegetables. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, garlic, salt and mushrooms until onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add root vegetables and pepper, sauté for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
- Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add bell pepper, parsley and barley to skillet and mix well. Cover and simmer until heated through. Combine herbs with cheese, garnish and serve.
THE SEASONED COOK Dried herbs work equally well in this recipe. Add them with the tomatoes in step 3. Cooking vegetables in a large skillet instead of a pot allows them to caramelize (turn brown), which boosts flavor. For a whole grain version of this dish, choose hulled or hulless barley. Pearl barley is polished, which removes much of the bran along with the hull.