Barley Risotto with Roasted Squash

PREP: 1 hour roast: 38 minutes OVEN: 400°F MAKES 6 servings

• 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
• 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• Dash ground nutmeg
• 1 pound regular barley (2 cups), rinsed and drained
• 6 cups vegetable broth
• 1 cup finely chopped onion (1 large)
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic (6 cloves)
• 1⁄2 cup dry white wine
• 1⁄2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
• 1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme
• 1 teaspoon snipped fresh sage
• 1 tablespoon snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place squash in a shallow baking pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over squash; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and nutmeg; toss to coat squash pieces. Roast about 30 minutes or until squash is tender. Set aside. In another shallow baking pan evenly spread out barley. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan bring broth to boiling; reduce heat and simmer until needed.
3. In a 4-quart Dutch oven cook onion and garlic in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add toasted barley. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add wine, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir until wine is absorbed.
4. Slowly add 1 cup of the hot broth to the barley mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir until most of the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until broth is nearly absorbed. When the remaining 1 cup broth has been added, cook and stir until barley mixture is slightly creamy. (This process should take about 35 minutes.) Gently fold in roasted squash, Parmesan cheese, thyme, and sage. Sprinkle with parsley.

PER SERVING: 436 cal., 10 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 5 mg chol., 1,229 mg sodium, 72 g carb., 15 g fiber, 13 g pro.


With its hard texture and odd shape, butternut squash is difficult to cut and peel, making the precut version a popular choice even though it costs a bit more.