Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winter Vegetables and Barley

Nothing funny or even remotely amusing happened in the making of this dish so I don't have a story for you, but it's really good so you should read the recipe and make it anyway. Old Man Winter (huh?) wants you to.

Winter Vegetables and Barley
(Okay, fine, green beans aren't a "winter vegetable," but you have to reach into the freezer to get them and that'll make your hand cold and wintery so in AmyLand they count.)

Here's What You're Gonna Need:

1 cup quick-cooking barley (uncooked)
1 big ol' butternut squash, cut into big bite sized in cubes*
6ish carrots, sliced into reasonable sized pieces for consumption
1 small onion (or 1/2 of a big one), chopped
2 cups frozen cut green beans
2 cans stewed tomatoes (don't drain them, but go at the tomatoes with a fork or a pair of scissors to break them up a little )
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped up
1 cup vegetable broth
a pinch of salt & pepper

*You can cut off the ends of this bad boy and just peel him with a good vegetable peeler. If you're of the peel-with-knife tribe, this chore will be easier for you if you steam the entire squash for about 2 mins (turn it so all sides get a taste of steam) then throw it in cold water before you peel it. This is loosen the skin up for you. To cube your squash, cut it in half down the middle, scoop out any seeds or stringy mess, then go about your slicing and dicing. Big pieces are okay here--maybe an inch or so.

And Here's What You're Gonna Do:
(pay attention, it's complicated)

Preheat oven to 375. Put everything in a big casserole dish or pyrex. Cover said dish and put it in the oven for a little over an hour,* or until your kitchen stabbing device stabs the squash and carrots with ease (start stabbing at an hour). Take it out, stir it up, and consume.

*Short cut: If you need your veggies and barley done a little sooner, steam the cut squash and carrots in a steam basket for about 10 mins while you're prepping everything else. This'll cut at least 20 mins off your bake time.

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