Pantry items plus early season greens is where we seem to be at the moment... This is adapted from a recipe in Didi Emmons's Vegetarian Planet. The flavor combination may sound odd, but it's delicious. If you're feeling lazy or rushed, just mince the garlic and ginger. Don't substitute olive oil for the canola, as the flavor is too strong (other neutral oils are fine).
1 cup pearl barley
1 Tbsp butter
1-2 Tbsp canola oil
8-10 cloves garlic, julienned
1 1-inch chunk ginger, peeled and julienned
1 medium onion, sliced lengthwise
1 cup red lentils
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
2-3 tsp dried sage
1/2 lb spinach or other greens, stemmed
Heat 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan. When it comes to a boil, add the barley and reduce the heat to a simmer with the pan partially covered. Cook until the water is absorbed and the barley is tender, about 25 minutes.
While the barley cooks, heat the butter and canola oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic, ginger, and onion, and cook 5-6 minutes. Add the lentils, salt, pepper, and sage and cook, stirring, for a minute or so. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cover and cook until the lentils are tender, about 6-8 minutes (check and stir occasionally to be sure they don't burn and stick). When the lentils are done, increase the heat to medium-high and add the spinach or other greens (you may have to do this in batches), cooking until just wilted. Remove from heat.
When the barley is done, combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl. Serve hot.
Serves about 4.
Update, 3/16/09: Thanks to the person who noticed I didn't include the amount of water to add to the lentils--it's in there now.