Butternut Squash & Purple Kale Barley Risotto

This recipe goes out to our NYC & DC GFs, who were blessed with another round of snow yesterday. We slid by snow-free here in Boston, but Mother Nature graced us with a solid bout of frigidness instead. We’re glass half full kinda gals, so our silver lining is that this never-ending winter equals more chances to try new warm, hearty meals. This butternut squash and purple kale risotto is the perfect snow day (healthy) comfort food. The dish is satisfying enough as a main course, but could also be served as a side next to roasted chicken or pork. If butternut squash aint your thing, try this kale & mushroom risotto, or asparagus & spinach risotto instead; both are made with brown rice, but you could swap that out for barley to take advantage of cooked barley’s creamy consistency. Keep your chins up, spring is right around the corner! Case in point: we’re running a half-marathon on Sunday and the forecast is a BALMY 40 degrees! Followed by snow next weekend, but hey, you gotta look on the bright side. Stay warm, friends!


Serves 5
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 white onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup pearl barley
1 medium butternut squash, cubed
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups kale, torn
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Salt & pepper

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat
Add onion, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, stir until onions are soft
Add wine and cook 5-7 mins
Add broth, barley, squash and bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 mins
Stir in parmesan & kale
Season with salt & pepper to taste

Recipe inspired by Real Simple.


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