Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fig and Almond Barley Pilaf

I want to say I came up with this on my own, but then I looked at How to Cook Everything to get an idea of proportions for a pilaf and he had pretty much this exact thing (with apricots instead of figs). Starting to think that "everything" isn't all that much of an exaggeration. I am a pretty big fan of barley though. It's fun to say, loaded with soluble fiber, and super versatile (equally good as a hot breakfast cereals or in place of rice in a risotto)

Fig and Almond Barley Pilaf
Serves: 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 0.5 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 0.25 cups sliced blanched almonds
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 3-4 dried mission figs
  • Honey
  • Balsamic vinegar (optional)

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  2. Cook the onion with a heavy pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until it is translucent
  3. Add the barley and almonds, stir until the barley is coated with oil and let cook for another minute or so.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, thyme, and pepper. I find our bouillon makes a pretty salty broth, so I didn't add any at this point, but you might want to.
  5. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to low. Let this cook for about 30 minutes until all the water is absorbed. You can add a little liquid if the barley isn't quite cooked or turn up the heat a little and leave the cover off if there is too much.
  6. Stir in the figs (cut into 1/8ths) and a drizzle of honey. I thought a couple of drops of balsamic vinegar on the plate were nice too

I learned what "blanched" almonds were only after dinner, but let's say that leaving the skins on was an artistic decision to give the photo some contrast (and to be honest, it didn't bother me a bit)

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