……………………………………………………. Baking our mark

Barley, Bacon, and Root Vegetable Pilaf May 6, 2011

Filed under: Side dish — krandle @ 6:46 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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.


3 Responses to “Barley, Bacon, and Root Vegetable Pilaf”

  1. Stacey Says:

    Thanks for the post! Sounds like a great recipe (I’m a big fan of root vegetables and barley). Do you have any suggestions for making it vegetarian? I can substitute chicken stock with vegetable, but I wonder about the bacon. I’m a college student and I buying veggie bacon seems out of the question for one recipe (not a big fan of bacon to begin with and I don’t think my parents would be game for veggie bacon). Do you have any ideas?

    • Michelle Jackson Says:

      I typed this long response, but then it didn’t load. Boo.

      Anyway, I’ll field this question as the resident vegetarian cook around here… you’re looking for a flavor comparable when you are substituting any sort of meat, so for bacon this is salt and meaty consistency. You can get this by roasting marinated pressed tofu until it’s very crisp and then crumbling it up, or with roasted/marinated portobello mushrooms (or regular ones, since I know portobellos get pricy too). Other than upping the veggie content, you could add seitan or tempeh (or “bacon” variations made of both of those things)… West Soy and Whole Foods brands are pretty good pre-made, or you could make it yourself

      Hope this helps!

  2. […] — krandle @ 10:29 pm Tags: bacon, beans, dinner menu, eggs, Soup I like bacon as much as the next gal – but I only ever buy it when it’s on sale (and when […]

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