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posted: 11/7/2017 6:00 AM

This one-pot meal marries risotto magic with a good-for-you grain

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  • Pearl barley cooks up quickly in this recipe for Mediterranean Barlotto. The barley will be lighter in color and faster cooking than barley that is simply labeled as "hulled."

    Pearl barley cooks up quickly in this recipe for Mediterranean Barlotto. The barley will be lighter in color and faster cooking than barley that is simply labeled as "hulled."
    Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

 
By Bonnie S. Benwick
The Washington Post

A warm and slithery slurp of minestrone is all well and good, but I'm even more partial to the next-day thickening that occurs when the soup's pasta or grains have been refrigerated in tomato-y broth. The effect is risotto-like, encouraging recipe developers to affix "-otto" to the tail end of such dish names.

This barlotto is my new favorite of that genre, made with pearl barley. What the grain loses in fiber -- vs. its hulled counterpart -- it makes up for by cooking faster while retaining a characteristic chew. Here, sun-dried tomatoes amp up the red flavor, and the squash cooks just long enough in the one-pot mix to become tender.

You could toss in fresh or dried herbs, but I like the simplicity of the dish's onion and garlic.

Should you find yourself with chilled leftovers, dig in with a spoon before you warm them up with a slosh of water or more vegetable broth.

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