Saturday, August 11, 2012

Barley with Roast Sweet Potatoes, Pepitas, and Queso Fresco

Barley is a hearty grain that's high in dietary fiber and protein. It's an underrated grain that I don't see very often in recipes. This recipe dresses up barley with the rich flavors of roasted sweet potatoes and pepitas. For another tasty way to used barley, go to my recipe for Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Barley.

Barley with Roast Sweet Potatoes, Pepitas, and Queso Fresco
Serves 4-6

1 cup pearl barley
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 sweet potato, diced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
Salt and pepper
Cilantro, for garnish

1. Bring 1 cup barley and 2 cups broth to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 40 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, toss sweet potato with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika.
3. Roast on large pan at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.
4. Remove from oven. Stir in red onion and red pepper. Return to oven and roast an additional 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are browned and cooked through.
5. During last 5 minutes of cooking, add single layer of pepitas to vegetables. Watch carefully to avoid burning.
6. Toss cooked barley with vegetables and pepitas in large bowl.
7. Add crumbled queso fresco and salt and pepper to taste.
8. Top with fresh cilantro and serve warm.

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