1 1/2 cups uncooked pearl barley* 1 tsp. salt 1 medium bunch large leaf spinach, washed, stems removed 3/4 cup dried sour cherries (or other dried fruit) 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 small yellow onion, minced 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter 1 orange, zest and juice Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
TO PREPARE BARLEY: Place barley in large bowl. Rinse with cold water and strain several times until water runs clear. Drain well. Place rinsed and drained barley on half sheet or jellyroll pan. Toast in preheated 350°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until kernels are lightly browned.
TO PREPARE SPINACH: Bring 2 quarts water to a boil; add 1 tsp. salt. Add spinach leaves; cook 1 minute. Pour spinach into sieve; drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out any remaining water. Coarsely chop and set aside.
TO PREPARE FRUIT: Soak dried cherries in warm water for 30 minutes to re-hydrate. Drain cherries and set aside.
TO PREPARE DISH: Using 2 to 4-qt. saucepan with cover, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 2 minutes being careful not to brown. Add stock and stir in toasted barley. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook barley 35 to 40 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Mix in cherries, spinach, hazelnuts, butter, orange zest and juice. Heat through and season to taste with salt and pepper.
*Barley may be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated overnight. For best results, reheat the cooked and chilled barley with a little vegetable stock or water before mixing with other ingredients.
Recipe created by Cory Schreiber, Wildwood Restaurant for the National Barley Foods Council.