Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash and Kale

  • ½ lb. kale
  • 5 ½ c. chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ c. pearl barley, rinsed
  • 2 c. peeled butternut squash, ¾ in cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ c. dry white wine

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Remove stems and thick ribs from kale leaves.   Boil leaves until tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain.  When cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water, coarsely chop and set aside.  In a medium saucepan, heat broth and water over medium heat until simmering.  Keep warm.  In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring, until browned, about 7 minutes.  Add barley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until it evaporates.  Add ½ cup broth and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed.  After 5 minutes, add squash.  Continue stirring and adding broth, ½ cup at a time, as needed, until barley is tender and creamy yet still firm, 40 to 50 minutes.  Stir in reserved kale and cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6.

From Eating Well October 1998.

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