Again, trying to use up what’s in my cupboard – plus, this is a recipe I copied down from my mom over a year ago, and I’ve been waiting for an excuse to try it. You’re supposed to use a variety of veggies, but I used what I had (carrots), and it was still delicious. I could see this working pretty well with beets too, though it would probably end up pink, like my fall hash.
I love barley – such a great flavor, and a different texture. [I recognize that my execution of this dish proves I need to become a better foodie, but, whatever. I liked it and it’s incredibly easy.] And yes, that’s a picture of the dish on my desk at work. It even tastes good at the office.
Pearl Barley, Bacon, and Root Vegetable Pilaf
2 cups chicken broth (or water + 1/2 tsp. salt)
1 cup pearl barley, rised, drained, and picked over
Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Then, stir in barley. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.
6 oz. bacon, diced
1 shallot, minced [Yeah, yeah, I used an onion. You try cooking for one (or sometimes two) and keeping all the types of onion-like vegetables on hand without breaking the bank…..but seriously, if you have an idea for solving this problem, let me know.]
1 1/4 cups 1/4- to 1/3-inch cubes peeled root vegetables (i.e., celery root, carrots, turnips, parsnips, butternut squash)
Pinch of sugar (small pinch)
1-2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1-2 tsp. thyme
1-2 tsp. rosemary
Saute bacon in large pot over medium heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Pour off all but 2 Tbs. dripping from pot. Add shallot; stir 30 sec. Add cubed vegetables and sugar; saute 6 min. Add barley, lemon juice, and herbs; stir 2 min. Mix in bacon; season with salt and pepper.
If you make this ahead of time, you may need to add water (tablespoon by tablespoon) to moisten when you reheat it so it stays moist.