When it’s cold out if you’re like me you usually want to eat meals that are hearty and yummy for your tummy. For some this means a bowl of something all soup-like or meat-based, but for me it means whipping up a batch of Toasty Barley Nibbles w/ Dill & Veggies.
The chef-work is not all that hard and basically involves a lot of chopping more than anything. And the party bonus factor to this not-too-strenous recipe is that it really requires very little clean-up. Hurrah!
- One 2-quart casserole dish
- One relatively big-ass skillet
- Wooden spoon
- A nice and sharp chopping knife
- A can opener
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 1/2 cup uncooked pearled barley
- 1/2 cup red onion (this is about one small red onion), chopped
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped (if you are using fresh, go with about 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
- 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1 can (~14 ounces) vegetable broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon (about four or five sprigs) fresh dill, chopped
- Non-stick cooking spray, like Pam (the butter flavored kind is especially nice if you have it)
- Pre-heat your oven for 350 degrees.
- Spray your skillet and casserole dish with the non-stick cooking spray.
- Put the skillet on the stove and toss in the barley. Spread it out around the skillet and turn on the heat to medium. Toast the little suckers until they start to turn a nice golden light brown (approximately eight minutes). Be sure to stir the whole time. Otherwise you will burn the little things… which is something to avoid since the smell — and the resulting taste — won’t be pleasant if this happens.
- Stir in all of the remaining ingredients. Heat the mixture to a boil.
- Once it gets all bubbly, pour it into your greased casserole dish and then slip on the cover.
- The whole concoction needs to spend about 50 minutes baking in your warmed-up oven. I like a little crunchy vegetable goodness, so at around 40 minutes time I remove the lid from the casserole dish. Feel free to same if you want to add that sassy touch.
It makes four servings and definitely is something that gets better with age — so don’t fret if you’re a party-of-one and will have leftovers. This dish gets more delectable with a little fridge time.
This recipe is based on the Toasted Barley with Mixed Vegetables recipe from March 1995’s Betty Crocker’s Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cooking booklet. (Thank you Village Discount!).