Saturday, April 17, 2010

I was planning to cook some pork tenderloin for dinner tonight, with wild rice and asparagus on the side, but the pork was still frozen solid at seven o'clock. (I really need to get the hang of this whole freezing/defrosting thing.) Uh oh! The grocery stores in my neighborhood close long before sunset, and delivery food was really not an option. Porkless and bereft of any other animal flesh of the non-frozen variety, I looked through the cabinets to scramble together a Plan B.

What I came up with: a Barley Melange! Happily for me, it incorporated the last bunch of asparagus in the fridge, the impulse-buy delicata squash on my counter and the last of the cranberry and walnut trail mix in the cabinet. I dressed the salad in a vinaigrette made with olive oil, balsamic and some of the maple syrup I'd brought back from Montreal last month. It was great - the maple and cranberries added sweetness, the pearl barley gave everything a hearty chewiness and the asparagus and walnuts were nice and crunchy.

Two very enthusiastic thumbs up! And now I have leftovers for lunches this week. (I bet this will be even better alongside a couple of slices of that pork tenderloin... whenever it decides to unfreeze itself.)

Impromptu Barley Melange

3 1/2 c. cooked pearl barley
1 delicata squash
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 T olive oil
1 T maple syrup
2 T balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Cook the barley according to instructions. Roast the squash at 375 for about 30 minutes. Steam the asparagus briefly, then blanch. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together. Combine everything in a big bowl. Serves four as a main course, probs more like six as a side.

No comments:

Post a Comment