Makes 6-8 servings
Barley casserole is a delicious dish for our chilly winter. Barley is filled with protein that gives us needed energy to cope with the cold. Barley is a cereal grain with a tough husk, bran and germ removed during processing and sold as pearl barley. Pot barley is also processed but with more bran to give the barley higher fibre and potassium but it may take longer to soften in the cooking. I find barley has more flavour when toasted at the beginning.
- 1 cup (250 ml) pearl or pot barley, rinsed
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cups (500 ml) boiling water
- 2 cups (500 ml) chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
- 1 tsp (5 ml) fresh or dried thyme
- 2 orange, yellow and or red bell peppers, cut in 8ths, seeded then thinly slice
- ½ cup (125 ml) 3% yogurt or sour cream
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) finely chopped fresh mint or half the quantity if using dried mint (optional)
- Pinch dried red chilli or more to your taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup (250 ml) grated Cheddar or Jarsberg cheese
- Garnish: 2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped parsley1. Place large saucepan on medium heat with the oil to toast barley until golden colour stirring often. Stir in onion, water, tomato and thyme. Lower heat to simmer and cook about 35 minutes or until barley is tender. Stir in bell peppers, yogurt or sour cream with thyme. Taste for salt and pepper. Pour into 6 cup (L) casserole
2. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) .
4. Pour mixture into 6-cup (1 1/2 L) ovenproof casserole. Smooth surface and sprinkle on cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until mixture bubbles and cheese is golden. Garnish with parsley just before serving.