Cheesy Barley Bake
Barley is a delicious and hearty whole grain grown throughout Canada, including in the Lower Mainland in BC. It comes in both unhulled (pot) and hulled (pearl) varieties with the hulled version taking less time to cook. Another technique to speed up the cooking time is to soak the barley ahead of time, from a few hours to overnight, in the fridge. This barley bake has a pizza-like profile, but feel free to swap out the type of cheese or veggies for those you have available!
1. If desired, soak barley for a few hours to overnight to shorten the cooking time. Place in a bowl with lid and cover with 3 cups water. Refrigerate. Drain before using.
2. Preheat oven to 375F. In large baking pan, place drained barley, veggies, spices and water (reduce the water by ½ cup if barley is pre-soaked). Stir to combine then cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes if soaked or 40 minutes if unsoaked.
3. Remove from oven and stir in cheese. Bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes until barley is tender, liquid is absorbed, and cheese is melted. Serve warm.
Source: Nicole Fetterly, RD