Friday, May 13, 2011

Barley with Ramps, Arugula, and Goat Cheese

Hulled barley is available from Four Star Farms; you can usually get it at Green Fields Market. You can also opt to use pearl barley for this dish; it will cook faster and is not quite as chewy in texture.

Serve this as a side dish or, if you like, add cooked beans and some toasted nuts for a heartier main dish.

1 1/2 cups hulled barley
4 1/2 cups water or stock (chicken or vegetable)
About 10 ramps (1 bunch)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 lb arugula, washed and chopped
1 Tbsp minced fresh sage
Salt and pepper to taste
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
Toasted pine nuts for topping (optional)

Place the barley and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender, about an hour (for pearl barley, more like 25-30 minutes).

While the barley cooks, slice the root ends off the ramps and wash them well. Thinly slice the whites and stems, then cut the leaves cross-wise into ribbons.

Heat the olive oil in a very large skillet or Dutch oven. Add the ramps and saute for about 1 minute. Add the arugula and saute until wilted. Stir in the sage and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

When the barley is done, mix it together with the vegetables and the goat cheese. With the other ingredients hot, the goat cheese should melt and spread so that it coats everything. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve hot, cold, or room temperature, topped with toasted pine nuts if desired.

Serves about 4 as a main dish, 6-8 as a side dish.

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