Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Apricot Barley Casserole

I love mushroom barley from a local chicken establishment near us called Zorns. I really do. It's my favorite side.

And I also love mushroom barley soup! it's one of my favorites that I oddly picked up in sleepaway camp of all places, while growing up.

But, I had never made barley myself. So when my husband and I were in the grocery store picking out rice that was on sale, I happened to see the barley was 99 cents and we decided to buy it and give it a whirl.

I found this recipe on my favorite recipe website, It seemed easy to make. I didn't change much except leaving out the nuts (only out of sheer laziness) and I halved the recipe. Half of this recipe still made PLENTY for my husband and I.

Oh, and the other change was using regular white onions instead of green onions (scallions) because our scallions had wilted and I didn't feel like going to buy more. (What? I am 9 months pregnant with a baby who doesn't want to come out, sue me!) The regular onions worked just fine with the dried fruit.

It took about 15 minutes to dice the apricots and onion, and then just about 10-15 minutes to do the stove top work. Letting it bake in the oven was obviously the longest part, but at least I was able to go do other things. This is definitely a delicious and easy dish to prepare on a weekend and eat during the week.

My husband and I both ended up loving the taste of this side dish and I will definitely make it again!

Ingredients: (this is the full recipe)

2/3 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds (I omitted)
1/4 cup butter, divided
2 cups pearl barley
1 cup sliced green onions (I used white onions)
7 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup diced dried apricots
1/2 cup golden raisins (I actually used regular raisins)


In a large skillet, saute nuts in 2 tablespoons butter until lightly browned; remove and set aside. (Since I omitted the nuts, I immediately started with the butter, onions and barley).

In the same skillet, saute the barley and onions in remaining butter until onions are tender.

Add broth; bring to a boil. Stir in the apricots, raisins and reserved nuts.

Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees F for 1-1/4 hours or until barley is tender.

Serve hot and enjoy!

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