Roasted Delicata Squash with Seasoned Pearl Barley

It’s true that I love whole grains, especially anything from Bob’s Red Mill because their products just seem that much better than other brands.  Lucky for me, they decided to sponsor me for cyclocross and I get to experiment with things like Pearl Barley!The downside to some whole grains is the cooking time.  Allow 1 hour for your pearl barley to cook.

INGREDIENTS:

SQUASH:

one fresh delicata squash, halved and de-seeded

2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp maple syrup

pinch salt

black pepper to taste

BARLEY:

1 cup pearl barley

3 cups water

SEASONING:

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced or small bunch or diced garlic scapes

1 celeriac root, cleaned and diced in small cubes

1 fresh apple, diced

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp sage

pinch salt

black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Begin by combining the 1 cup or barley and the 3 cups of water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir.  Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 50-60 minutes.  To make this easier, plan ahead and soak the barley overnight in 6 cups of water and then boil for 15 minutes the next day.

As the barley cooks, take your cleaned squash and brush with the olive oil and maple syrup and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place squash onto a baking sheet and into your preheated oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until soft when poked with a fork.

As the barley simmers and the squash bakes, add olive oil to a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat and sautee the celeriac root and garlic or garlic scapes until tender.  Add the thyme, sage and pumpkin seeds and stir for about a minute.  Add the apples and cranberries, stir and remove from heat.

When the barley is cooked, add the ingredients from the skillet into the barley, add the salt and pepper and stir well.

Scoop the barley into the hollow of the roasted squash and serve immediately.

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