Recipe: Roasted, Toasted Garden Barley Pilaf

This recipe is really good, really easy and really cheap. It takes just 15-20 minutes of active cooking time, and the cost is a hilariously low 40c a serving.

This hearty and delicious dish can serve five or six as a main course, or it can serve up to eight as a side. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Roasted, Toasted Garden Barley

6 Tablespoons butter, in all
1 ¾ cups barley
1 medium onion, chopped or slivered
2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 carrots, cut into medium-thick slices
2 cups bouillon plus 2 cups water

1) Preheat oven to 350F/175C, and bring the bouillon/water mixture to a simmer. Meanwhile, melt 3 Tablespoons of the butter in a nonstick pan, add vegetables, and saute on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Transfer sauteed vegetables into a 2-½ quart (2.3L) casserole dish.

2) Melt the remaining 3 Tablespoons butter in the same nonstick pan. Add barley and saute on medium-high heat, stirring regularly, until the barley is lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Combine barley with sauteed vegetables in the casserole dish.

3) Pour the hot bouillon/water mixture over the combined barley and vegetables. Bake for 1 hour at 350, cover for the first 30 minutes and uncover for the remaining 30 minutes.

Serves 5-6.

Recipe Notes:
1) A few ideas for variations/substitutions:
Use mushrooms and onions for the sauteed veggies.
Add in ¼ cup currants or dried cranberries before baking.
Add in ¼ cup cashews or almonds before baking.
Or, simply feel free to add whatever veggies you have on hand, or whatever happens to be on sale in the store.

Spice modifications: add ½ teaspoon thyme for a homey variation, add ½ teaspoon cayenne for a spicy variation, or perhaps add ½ teaspoon garam masala for a curry-style variation.

2) Outrageously cheap: At about 40c a serving, this recipe transcends "laughably cheap" to the point where I need to invent new phrase. Maybe "outrageously cheap?" Let's go over the costs:

Barley 75c
Onion 25c
Celery 30c
Carrot 20c
Butter 50c
Spices/bouillon 10c
Total $2.10, or 35c-42c per serving.

Once again: don't think you can't eat healthy, hearty food on very little money. You can. Enjoy!

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Baking for Beginners: How to Make a Sponge Cake
The Risotto Blogroll: 20 of the Internet's Best, Most Delicious Risotto Recipes

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chacha1 said...

This sounds like a great Alternative to Stuffing for Thanksgiving. :-) I've always liked barley with mushrooms. A little mushroom & shallot on top would be the bomb.

Daniel said...

I think you're onto something Chacha! This recipe offers a lot of flexibility--you can use almost any vegetable.