Baked Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash

All I can say is “Try this!”  It’s super easy to make, and I really loved it.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small butternut squash (about 1-1/2 pounds) – peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)

1 onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt and black pepper

1 cup pearl barley

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (chicken broth is fine if you are not vegetarian)

5 ounces baby spinach

1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces), plus more for serving

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large oven-safe saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the squash, onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the barley to the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add the wine and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 1 minute.  Add the broth and bring to a boil; cover the pot and transfer it to oven.  Bake until the barley is tender, 35 to 40 minutes.

Stir in the spinach, Parmesan, and butter.  Serve with additional Parmesan.  Makes 4 servings.

Note:  I found the portions to be enormous, and I have a large appetite.  It can really serve 6 main-dish portions, with a salad and bread.  The nutrition information is for 1/4 of the recipe.  If you eat 1/6, it will only be 285 calories and 522mg sodium.

Per serving:  427 calories, 13g protein, 63g carb, 15g fat (5g sat), 783mg sodium 15g fiber, 318mg calcium

From Real Simple magazine

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