If you're looking for a hearty, nutritious, one-pot meal that's perfect for fall, then try my Butternut Squash Barley Risotto. This recipe was just published (along with two of my other recipes) in the November 2012 issue of EveryDay with Rachel Ray magazine as part of the Express-Lane Suppers story.Although traditional risotto is made with rice, my version is made with barley, a whole grain. The barley is cooked in the style of risotto, which means that liquid is added in increments and stirred often. This cooking technique allows the starches in the grain to release slowly and gives the dish a creamy texture. Barley comes in a few different varieties including hulled, pot/Scotch and pearl barley. My recipe uses pearl barley- a type of barley that is hulled (the inedible outer layer is removed) and polished. Barley has a chewier texture than traditional risotto rice and a nice nutty flavor that works well with the sweet butternut squash and earthy thyme in this dish.
Butternut squash, with its lovely orange-colored flesh and sweet taste is one of my favorite fall vegetables. And it's great for you! It's a rich source of fiber which besides promoting good GI health also helps lower blood cholesterol levels and control blood sugar. Butternut squash is high in several nutrients such as Vitamins A, B-complex and C as well as potassium and magnesium to name a few. The rich orange color means it's packed in beta carotene which gets converted to Vitamin A in the body. One cup of cubed squash has 457% of the recommended daily allowance! Vitamin A is important for vision, immune health, growth and reproduction.
To get the recipe for my Butternut Squash Barley Risotto, CLICK HERE.