TND – Dinner February 5th = Minor Recipe Fail

March 8, 2013

Dinner - February 5

Baked Barley Risotto
Whole Roasted Onions
Green Beans

Baked Barley Risotto Recipe
Serves 8-10

barley risotto - Feb 5

Olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
600 grams uncooked semi-pearled barley (or farro)
½ cup white wine
2 cups tomato sauce *
5 cups water/stock (I used 1 cup stock + 4 cups water)
3 oz grated Parmesan, divided
2 lemons, zested
2 tablespoon fresh sage (or thyme or oregano or whatever), chopped & divided

Preheat oven to 400F / 205C.  Grease a 13×9 pan.

Saute the onion and thinly sliced garlic in olive oil until carmelized (can be done the night before – refrigerate and just reheat the next day before proceeding).  Add the barley and stir until coated.  Add the white wine to deglaze the pan.  Stir in the tomato sauce and broth.  Bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and stir in 2 oz of the cheese, the lemon zest and the chopped sage.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

Pour into the baking dish, and tightly cover with foil, poking a few slits in the foil.  Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the grains are cooked through.  Uncover the dish, sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top, and continue to bake for 5-10 minutes or until cheese has melted and browned.

* Tomato Sauce
You can use whatever your favorite tomato sauce is, or you can make this quick and slightly spicy tomato sauce.

2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 fresno chili, minced (optional – I had one in the house)
15 oz diced tomatoes with juice (fire roasted are particularly good)
15 oz/2 cups crushed tomatoes
1-2 tsp brown sugar

Mince the garlic and then sprinkle with a little salt.  Using the flat edge of a knife mash to a paste.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in pan, add the garlic, fresno chili (if using) and red pepper flakes.  Saute for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.  Add the diced and crushed tomatoes, and a sprinkle of brown sugar.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

Whole Roasted Onions
This needs work.  Which is to say, it was a recipe that didn’t really work.

What I wanted was gooey, caramelized whole onions slightly charred around the edges and coated in sticky balsamic-y sauce.  What I got was not entirely cooked onions with nowhere near enough sauce.

baked onions - Feb 5

What I did was slice the tops and bottoms off of medium sized red and sweet white onions and then removed the outer layers of peel.  I cut them   I placed them in a greased casserole pan and drizzled them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, sherry, salt and pepper.  I also added several heads of garlic separated into cloves, but not peeled.  I covered the pan with foil and put them in a 400 oven.  After 20 minutes I removed the foil and continued to roast them for 30-35 minutes.

The garlic emerged coated in sauce and sticky sweet.  The onions were undercooked.

If I tried this again – which I’m not entirely sure if I will or not – firstly, I’d try to find smaller onions.  Secondly, I’d make more cuts – maybe 6-8 instead of 4 – to help them open up more as they roasted.  Thirdly, I’d use a lot more balsamic and honey.  And finally, I’d cook them for a lot longer.  I’d roast them covered for maybe 30 minutes – with a little water or stock in the bottom of the pan to steam them a little.  And then I’d roast them uncovered for maybe a further 40 minutes – basting periodically to get the sauce into the crevices.



  1. […] Follow the yellow brick road (err, link) for recipes […]

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