Brussels Sprouts & Squash Barley with Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Brussels Sprouts and Squash Barley with Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Brussels Sprouts and Squash Barley with Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Food cravings can be unpredictable, but for me they’re a way of life. Often the cravings are for something understandable like chocolate, a salty snack, or even fruit. But for some odd reason this evening I craved barley. There was something about the nutty chewiness of this nutritious grain that I needed.

So, I decided to do a bit of experimenting to see if I could make a full meal based on barley. And… I did. And… it rocked!

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The result was sort of a pilaf of barley with oven-roasted Brussels sprouts and winter squash. And then, from the suggestion of @LDGourmet on Twitter, I topped the whole thing with rosemary turkey meatballs to make for a complete and filling meal.

Brussels Sprouts and Squash Barley with Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Brussels Sprouts and Squash Barley with Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

Here’s the recipe:

Brussels Sprouts & Squash Barley with Rosemary Turkey Meatballs – makes 2 entree portions

1 cup pearled barley

1 1/2 cup water

Kosher salt

1 cup peeled and diced winter squash (about 1/2 of a medium Delicata)

1 cup small Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

Pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped

1 pound lean ground turkey

1 egg

1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs

1 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Combine the barley, water and a pinch of salt in a small pot. Set it over high heat and bring the water just to a boil, then decrease the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 50 to 60 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.

Toss the squash, Brussels sprouts, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil in an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish. Place the dish in the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring every 2 minutes, until the onions are soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and decrease the oven temperature to 350°F. Add the cooked onions and barley to the baking dish with the vegetables. Mix well. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons water and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the dish oven.

To make the turkey meatballs, in a bowl combine the ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Mix well with your hands and form the turkey into small balls about the diameter of a nickle.

Pour 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan used to cook the onions and set the burner to medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on at least 3 sides (the balls are small so it may be hard to brown on all sides), about 6 to 8 minutes total. Place the pan in the oven and cook alongside the barley and vegetables until the meatballs are cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes.

To serve, divided the barley mixture between two dinner plates and top each with half the turkey meatballs.

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