Here is a very versatile recipe for a delicious Side dish, Mane course or a Thanksgiving Stuffing (if you use sliced sourdough bread with crusts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and bake until golden, instead of barley or rice). I made this dish for our familie's Rosh Hashanah diner as a side for Veal Osso Buco, and of coerce, used 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil (instead of bacon) and parsnip, carrots and parsley root, which I always use in stocks, soups and all kinds of vegetable dishes (root and stems while cooking and leaves to finish and garnish the dish). Other variety of root vegetables, mushrooms, herbs and seasonings would be equally delicious. Some times I add even Butternut Squash or Chestnuts, when cooking this dish as a Stuffing. You might call it “Everything but the Kitchen Sink”. —Kukla
serves a crowd
• 2 cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium purchased
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup pearl barley or brown rice, rinsed and drained
• 6 ounces bacon, or pancetta, diced, or 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large shallot, minced
• 2 cups, root vegetables (such as celery root, carrot, turnip, rutabaga, and parsley root), peeled and cut lengthwise in1/4-inch strips
Bring 2 cups chicken stock, turmeric or saffron and salt to boil in medium saucepan. Mix in barley or rice. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until barley is tender, about 30 minutes (for rice 20 minutes and low heat).
Sauté bacon or pancetta in large pot over medium heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from pot. Add shallot; stir 2 minutes (when using olive oil, add the shallot right away).
Add mushrooms; brown for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the red bell pepper, root vegetables and sugar; sauté 10 to 15 minutes; then add the cooked barley or rice, lemon juice, and herbs; stir about 2-3 minutes.
Mix in bacon; season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Cover and place in oven to rewarm.)