I found this a little addictive. The flavors and textures are beautifully complementary. A food processor with a grating attachment makes quick work of the squash. While it is not strictly essential to use butternut, I find it is best for peeling and has a good texture.
1 cup dry pearl barley
3 cups water or stock (chicken or veggie)
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and shredded
1/2 cup frozen parsley (or fresh)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the barley and water or stock in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the barley is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes. While the barley cooks, prepare the rest of the dish.
Heat some olive oil in a very large skillet. Add the garlic and shallots and saute over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the shredded squash and continue to saute, stirring frequently, until it is all tender, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper and remove from heat.
When the barley is done, combine it with the squash mixture in a large bowl and mix well. Serve hot.
Serves about 6.