Friday, April 4, 2008

Squish Squash

Among the pile of newspapers, magazines and books beside my bed I unearthed an unread copy of February's Delicious magazine. While browsing through I came across this recipe for an unconventional 'risotto' made with pearl barley. We are making a concerted effort in this house to broaden our carbs from the usual pasta, spuds and white rice so I thought I'd give this a try. And the result? This is definitely a keeper, the barley retains a nutty bite which contrasts well with the sweetness of the squash - although I did alter the proportions slightly to increase the squash to barley ratio.

Pearl barley risotto with roasted squash, red peppers and rocket (adapted from the Feb 08 edition of Delicious)
serves 2
350g peeled butternut squash, cubed

1 red pepper, cut into chunks

olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

175g pearl barley

750ml hot vegtable stock

flat-leaf parsley

2 handfuls rocket

  • Preheat oven to 180°
  • Coat squash and peppers in oil and season, roast for about 35 mins
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil and add onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook till soft
  • Add barley and cook for 1 min
  • Add one ladleful of stock, stir and simmer until absorbed
  • Continue adding the stock one ladelful at a time until it is all absorbed (this should take about 40 mins) and there is still a 'bite' to the barley (I then needed an extra 100ml of water to cook the barley to the texture I wanted)
  • Stir in the parsley, squash and peppers
  • Serve topped with rocket and Parmesan

Now this left me with half a butternut squash so I used the foodblogsearch (see below) to find myself a soup recipe. I found this lovely one for 'Roasted butternut squash with smoked paprika' from glutenfreegirl and just made a half portion. If you read her instructions she advises straining it through a mesh sieve. Boring though it may be this really is needed as the initial blended mixture has a texture like baby food. I only strained half of mine before I got bored - this was enough for a pourable soup but if I was making it for guests I would strain the whole lot. It's a lovely soup, the smoked paprika adds some depth and takes the edge off the sweetness of the squash.

1 comment:

Rachel@fairycakeheaven said...

Just looked out my February copy of delicious, will definitely be making this, look gorgeous and you photo is one to rival the one in the magazine