Barley-Roasted Pepper Pilaf

In the never-ending search for interesting side dishes, I put together several recipes to come up with this pilaf. It is good either warm or cold, and keeps well for a few days.


Warm the oil in a 10 inch heavy skillet (with lid). Add onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Add barley and cook, while stirring, until the barley is beginning to color, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil while stirring, and then reduce temperature to low, simmering and covered for about 20-25 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and serve immediately or when just warm or even cool.

Barley Pilaf in Sugar Sweet Baby Pumpkins with Toasted Pecans

This variation of barley pilaf is both delicious and beautiful to serve. Unfortunately, you can only find sugar sweet baby pumpkins for a couple of weeks in October.

Prepare the Barley-Roasted Pepper Pilaf as above, substituting 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries for the roasted pepper and lemon juice. While the barley is cooking mix 1/2 cup pecan pieces with 2 tsp. brown sugar and 1 tsp. canola oil. Toast the pecans in a 350° F. oven for 5-8 minutes until just browning.

Cut the top off 12-15 sugar sweet baby pumpkins, reserving the tops. Scoop out the seeds and discard. In each pumpkin, put a 1/2 tsp. brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. canola oil, and 1/8 tsp. each ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Return the tops to the pumpkins and bake in an oiled pan for about 20 minutes, or until soft, at 350° F. Test to see if the pumpkins are soft, and remove from the oven. Serve the pilaf, sprinkled with the toasted pecans, in the pumpkins. Cover partially with the pumpkin tops. When the sugar sweet pumpkins are in season, you can eat the entire pumpkin, skin and all. Serves 8.

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