This week, our Food Network Chef is Robert Irvine. I chose his barley and asparagus pilaf, because I've been on a quest lately to broaden my use of barely in our meals.
I love barley in soups, but typically don't think to cook this grain as a side dish for dinners. This recipe had a great compliment of flavors, and we were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked it.
While I do like Asiago cheese, Parmesan is my favorite, so when I make it again, I'll likely use Parmesan cheese in place of Asiago.
Barley and Asparagus Pilaf - Adapted from Robert Irvine
3 T oil
1 C onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 C barley, quick cooking
4 C vegetable stock
12 asparagus spears, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 C cream
1/4 C Asiago cheese, grated
3 T butter (I omitted)
black pepper, to taste
4 T fresh basil, chopped (I used 1 tsp. dried)
Begin by sauteing the garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat.
Add the barley and stir to coat in the oil. Allow the barley to begin to toast.
Reduce the heat just a little. Add the broth little by little stirring and cooking until each addition is absorbed.
Continue this until you have one addition of broth left. Add this last addition, and add the asparagus pieces at the same time.
Cook for 8 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.
Then, stir in the cheese, cream and pepper.
Serve garnished with basil.