Crockpot Butternut Barley Risotto

Butternut Squash Barley Risotto

 

I’m trying something new here.  Risotto that you don’t have to stand in front of the stove and continually stir.  Sounds pretty great to me!  I chose to use pearled barley for this meal as it has a chewy consistency somewhat like risotto.  Barley has plenty of dietary fiber plus some other added nutritional benefits: selenium, phosphorus, copper and manganese.  Our squash plant this summer had some difficulty so we ended up with only one squash.  I bought a starter plant which was supposedly a delicata but it turned out to be butternut.  We had tons and I mean tons of flowers on the long vine but no fruit would grow out of them and if it did they would rot off right away.  You can imagine how much I prized our one successful squash.  When I cut into it the color was extremely vibrant and the smell sweet.  Yay!  This meal was a definite success, both Josh and I loved every bite.  It was filling but not heavy and treated both our tummy’s right.

 

Barley added to some onion and absorbing some white wine

Time to crockpot: barley/onion mixture, squash, water, and chicken base

1 1/2 hours later: cooked perfectly and time to add some pecorino romano

Butternut Barley Risotto

 

Butternut Barley Risotto

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallot
  • 1 1/2 cups pearled barley
  • s&p
  • 1/4 cup white wine, something dry
  • medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 3 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon chicken base
  • 4 cups water
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • chopped fresh sage, just a few leaves
  • fresh grated pecorino romano, how ever much you like, I probably used 1/2 cup
  1. Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the shallots.  Cook a few minutes.
  2. Add the barley and s&p.  Mix well.
  3. Add the wine and cook stirring until it’s all evaporated, a few more minutes.
  4. Transfer the barley to a crock pot, along with the squash, chicken base, and water.  Stir to combine.
  5. Set the crock pot to low and cook 2 1/2 hours or maybe a bit more until all the liquid is absorbed and the barley and squash are tender.  Throughout the cooking time stir occasionally to make sure all the grains are evenly cooked.
  6. Lastly stir in the fresh parsley, fresh sage, and pecorino romano.
  7. Serve topped with black pepper and more cheese if desired.  (I did not desire).

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