Remember that March is National Nutrition Month (NNM) and eating more vegetables, whole grains, and healthier fat choices is part of how to best celebrate it.
Today’s blog will focus on a vegetarian dish that many people might enjoy having.
It contains tips on developing flavor in 10 Minutes-or-Less using a fun barley recipe that comes from an Executive Chef who originally hails from Switzerland, but has lived and worked in many parts of the globe in his career to date.
This Executive Chef’s blog site, as he puts it, is “All about gourmet food, country food, recipes and travel. Having fun cooking with some facts about products and techniques.” He really is a Country Gourmet Traveler!
NNM “Widget” (aka image code) courtesy of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Barley image courtesy of Skorpio on Wikia.
See chef’s blog site for actual recipe images. Food Styling and photography ©2012 by Walter Butti, used with his permission.
Read on for the details of a recipe he kindly developed after receiving our request for his insight, as it includes a number of great tips for developing flavor in a short amount of time.
Walter is a Chef who simply loves to travel and among the various positions he has enjoyed, he has used his talents on one of the better cruise lines as an Executive Chef.
I had asked him about a barley recipe I had enjoyed while traveling on a cruise line where he was formerly affiliated. He was kind enough to whip up his own version and he has posted mouth watering photos of same, so I just had to share his creation with all of you!
Just so that you will understand, cruise line recipes for entrees will typically start at serving 100 portions of a given entree at dinner time. Often 2500 guests (give or take) are dining in total on a given evening selecting from a variety of entrees, so let’s just say the kitchen areas of a cruise ship can get pretty busy at times!
This Executive Chef kindly came up with a home size vegetarian recipe that still captures the type of flavor found in the original version served on board the cruise ship, but with his own culinary twist. I believe the original cruise line developed recipe was described as “Honey And Marjoram Braised Barley: With Brunoise Of Root Vegetables, Cherry Tomatoes, Drizzled Honey, And Marjoram-Infused Olive Oil.”
His recipe is for Honey Braised Barley and the
- first tip is that you can easily vary from a classical mirepoix (carrots, celery and onion) to a brunoise of carrots, celery and (red) sweet peppers and still enjoy the wonderful flavor that adding such vegetables can impart to a dish.
- a second tip is that using a lower sodium based vegetable stock will allow you to braise the barley until it is tender and flavorful.
- a third tip reflects the use of an oven roasted yellow pepper sauce plated on the side of the barley dish, along with a garnish of lovely edible flowers and micro herbs for both flavor and eye-appeal.
Personally, I like to use very little Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) when I pan saute onions and garlic, but that is probably going back to my own Italian cooking heritage.
One small aside, just in case anyone interested in this recipe also needs to consider the needs of others or themselves when it comes to either gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, they should be aware that barley, unfortunately, is not something anyone with gluten intolerance can consume.
Those who must avoid barley due to gluten sensitivity or celiac disease should also avoid malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar since typically those are all usually also made from barley. Please see some of our other blog postings here or here for more details on gluten-free living.
The Whole Grains Council considers barley to be the fourth most popular grain in the world. You can read more about barley and see photos of various forms of barley at their website. Although pearl barley, which is the form of barley sold in most supermarkets, is technically not a whole grain, but rather a refined grain, it still may contain some bran and some beta-glucan fiber. Hulless barley, or hulled (aka dehulled) barley forms of barley are preferable to pearl barley they contain their bran and germ components. The soluble beta-glucan form of fiber found in barley has reportedly been associated with some health benefits including in some studies to reduce LDL-cholesterol, play a role in helping to control blood glucose levels, and assist with weight control efforts.
Our thanks go out to Walter for creating and sharing the recipe for this alternative entree dish. It’s perfect for NNM! Be sure to check out the recipe and the presentation.
Hopefully you’ll feel inspired to try something new this month yourself involving healthy grains you can tolerate, richly colored jewel tone vegetables that are chock full of antioxidants and other nutrients, and a bit of healthier, flavorful oil like EVOO! Enjoy!