This dish is going around Park City these days. Teri heard about it from Patricia, and since Teri has Deborah Madison’s cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, she made the recipe with her garden kale, which is lacinato kale.
Teri sent me a photo this week of kale in her arms, making its way from the garden to the kitchen, for green barley and kale round two. In my copy of the book, I wrote a note next to the recipe on 6/30/98, ”wow! wild!” It’s about the vivid green color, and probably also because I love the chewy-soft texture of barley. I remember making it for St. Patrick’s Day one time—a perfect wearin’ of the green. Today’s version includes mushrooms and the gremolata flavors of garlic, lemon zest and parsley. Substitute 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice for the cheese if you want the dish to be vegan.
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 large bunch kale, any variety, stems removed
2 tablespoons butter
6 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups veggie stock
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Add the barley and salt; reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, until the barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain. Meanwhile, cook the kale in boiling water until it is tender, 6 to 10 minutes. Drain, saving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. In a food processor, puree the drained kale with the water until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan. On medium-high heat, cook and stir the mushrooms until they take on a light golden color. Make a roux by stirring in the flour, and cooking a few more minutes. With a wire whisk, stir in the veggie stock and cook, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Stir in the garlic, lemon zest and parsley. Mix in the barley and kale and the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Put in a lightly buttered baking dish. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is just browned.
Makes 4 to 6 servings, though Robbie and I have made it dinner for 2 served with a large salad.