Saturday, October 15, 2011

Roasted Chanterelle Barley Pilaf

Do you ever get tired of serving the same side dishes on Thanksgiving--a tried and true recipe that always ends up on your table?  I'm not saying that this is a bad thing because Thanksgiving day is not a good time experiment with a recipe you've never tried before, especially when you have a houseful of hungry people.  So what I like doing is making the recipe a couple of weeks before to see if I want to serve it to my guests on the big day.  After you make a recipe once, you're then able to refine it, add your own personal touches, and make it your own.  It takes all the pressure off and makes your cooking experience much more enjoyable.     

I like this recipe because it's very easy to change up the ingredients.  If you are gluten intolerant then you can substitute brown basmati rice instead of hulled barley.  If you don't like radicchio then use another type of winter lettuce, cabbage, or leafy green.  And if you're not a big fan of hazelnuts then try adding roasted chestnuts or toasted walnuts.  Whatever you decide to do, this recipe will make a beautiful addition to your holiday table.

Pilaf Ingredients:
(Serves 6)

1 1/2 cups hulled barley, soaked overnight
8 oz chanterelle mushrooms, torn into 1/2" strips, roasted
8 oz oyster mushrooms, torn into 1/2" strips, roasted
2 tbsp finely minced thyme, divided
1 head radicchio, quartered, marinated, grilled and chopped (see below)
1 leek, white and light green parts only, quartered, washed
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup vegetable stock
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts, skins removed
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
2 tbsp finely minced parsley, divided
Lemon wedges
Note:  I used a combination of chanterelle and oyster mushrooms to save money.  Chanterelle's are $15/pound and oyster's are $6/pound. 

  • Drain and rinse barley, place in a 5 quart sauce pan and cover with plenty of filtered water.  Add 1 tsp kosher salt, bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook for about one hour until kernels are tender and have puffed open.  Drain and rinse really well under cool water.  Shake to remove excess liquid and set aside.
  • Cut radicchio into quarters or eighths leaving the core intact.  Place radicchio wedges in a casserole dish and drizzle with 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar and 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive, salt and pepper.  Turn to coat wedges on all sides and let marinate for about 15 minutes.
  • Heat a grill pan or saute pan medium-high and cook radicchio until lightly charred and caramelized.  Remove from pan, let cool, cut off core and chop into 1-2" pieces.  Set aside.  
  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Using a damp paper towel remove any dirt from mushrooms and shred into pieces.  
  • Toss mushrooms with 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp thyme and salt and pepper to taste.  Roast in the oven for about five minutes until soft and lightly golden brown.  Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • Heat a large saute pan on medium-low heat, and add 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, leeks, minced garlic, thyme and salt and pepper.  Cook for about 4 minutes until leeks are soft, stirring to prevent garlic from burning.  
  • Deglaze with white wine and vegetable stock and cook until almost all liquid is reduced.
  • Add cooked barley, roasted mushrooms, grilled radicchio, 1 tbsp minced parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.  
  • Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring to combine, until the ingredients are heated through and fully combined.
  • Just before serving toss in toasted hazelnuts and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  
  • Place in a serving bowl and garnish with fresh parsley.


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