Along with my many attempts to clean out my fabric I got a wild hair to clean out my cupboards too and therefore looked up recipes to use up specific ingredients that I had, including pearled barley. I first fell in love with this ingredient when I made Roasted Butternut Squash and Barley Risotto (seen here) and it remains one of my favorite fall/winter dishes.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Barley
2 small acorn squash
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 C pearl barley, rinsed and drained
1 fennel bulb-tops discarded, halved, cored, and chopped fine
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground coriander
1 C grated parmesan cheese (reserve 1/4 for the end)
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Halve and seed the acorn squash. Brush cut sides with a tsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place on a lined, rimmed baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray cut side down. Roast on the lower-middle rack until tender 45-55 minutes.
While those are roasting, start to boil 3 quarts of water in large saucepan. Stir in the barley and 1/4 tsp salt. Return to a boil, then reduce to as simmer and cook until the barley is tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain and set aside. (sorry mine got a bit too steamy for good pictures!)
I also simultaneously toasted my pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
My next step of 3/4 C parmesan cheese, minced parsely, pine nuts, barley, and Tbsp butter set aside.
Off the heat, add in the barley mixture set aside. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
After I removed the squash from roasting I increased the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Scoop out most of the squash flesh to stir into the barley mixture, leaving the skin and about 1/8th of inch thickness left.
Restuff them, sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake until cheese is melted 5-10 minutes. Drizzle with balsalmic vinegar and enjoy!