Most of us try to eat healthy. Most of us try to cook with a variety of grains. I’m a very firm believer in variety is good for the body and soul on so many levels. I really do enjoy barley … but it hardly ever appears on my table except in soup and a rare risotto. I had a half used package of prosciutto … yes I know prosciutto is a ham and not barley but just come along for a little will you, humor me … it was time to finish the package of prosciutto.
Enter from stage right: Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, a new book recently appearing on my book shelf. ”Before it sits there so long it gets old and forgotten, perhaps it will have the perfect recipe using prosciutto.” And so it did … well it had one … a very simple thing – it’s one exotic ingredient (truffle oil) I was just out of. Without the truffle oil I determined it needed a little increase in flavor.
In addition to the bay leaf and rosemary called for in this, I used chicken stock to replace the water to cook the barley. So I cooked a cup of barley. Then it called for Prosciutto to be crisped in a little olive oil. When ready to serve mix it all together. No truffle oil to finish the dish with … ah, ha a teaspoon of butter. That’s simple. OK but that’s not really dinner is it? The flavor was excellent. Prosciutto and barley needs veggies! What’s in the refrigerator … I wish I could ask what’s ready in the garden but the answer wouldn’t really help since there’s jalopeno and herbs? In my refrigerator on this day there was asparagus and broccoli. Both went in for the last 8 minutes the barley simmered.
Now, perhaps you may think that because I really redid the recipe, the book might be a waste. I would disagree. Without the book, I don’t think I’d ever have gotten to this dish. Any cookbook that provides me with a jump into new territory is good with me.
The consequences: the next morning it became a wonderful breakfast;-)
Stay tuned for further barley consequences …
Barley w Crisped Prosciutto
Ancient Grains for Modern Meals p 140