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Barley and Vegetable Ragout

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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.

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Recipe Ingredients

  • 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

Recipe Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add bell pepper, parsley and barley to skillet and mix well. Cover and simmer until heated through. Combine herbs with cheese, garnish and serve.
Per serving with salt: 258 calories, 14g protein, 44g carbohydrate, 7g fat, 2g sat fat, 4g mono fat, 4mg cholesterol, 9g fiber, 460 mg sodium. Without salt:  260 mg sodium
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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.

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