Saturday, April 3, 2010

Creamy Barley with Tomato and Greens

The last time I was in Whole Foods, I picked up some barley on a whim. I normally try to stick to my list, but recipes that called for barley kept popping up and I was interested in trying something new, grain-wise. Of course, tomatoes, spinach, and feta are a great combination, though this recipe called for way too much onion, and I don't typically shy away from alliums. I have altered this recipe to reflect that change. The barley adds another dimension and texture, plus it's good for you! Joe was on-call when I made this dish, and when I told him what I had for dinner, he remarked, "That's a good Kira dish." I think that sums it up nicely.

Creamy Barley with Tomato and Greens
source: A Year in the Kitchen
Yields 4 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup pearled barley
2 cups vegetable stock
1 15 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained (I used Italian-seasoned tomatoes)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 8 oz. bag frozen spinach or 4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, thawed and drained
1/4 cup feta cheese
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of oregano

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onion, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the barley, tomatoes, wine, and stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender, about 18-20 minutes.
Add the spinach, crushed red pepper and oregano.
Stir well, taste and adjust seasonings.
Divide among bowls and sprinkle with the feta.

Nutritional Info
Calories: 361.4
Total Fat: 7.7 g
Total Carbs: 54.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 11.1 g
Protein: 12.4 g