SUCCOTASH, BARLEY 'SUCCOTASH'
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
Barley stars here, with corn and beans adding flavor, texture, bulk, and nutrition. The result is a fortified version of the summertime classic that manages to be immensely satisfying and fresh tasting at the same time.
You can use either pearled or hulled barley; the first will take less time to cook and give you a creamier, lighter dish. The more nutritious hulled barley will take about twice as long to cook but will produce more contrast and chew. Whichever way you go, serve this hot or at room temperature with some thick slices of ripe red tomato and grilled veggie burgers. Leftovers
reheat well in the microwave for a quick lunch. Vegan with oil instead of butter.
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes for pearled barley, 1 hour for hulled
• 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 cup pearled or hulled barley
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1/2 cup lima beans (frozen are fine) or chopped green or wax beans
• 1 cup fresh (from 2 large ears) or frozen corn kernels
• 1/2 medium red or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
• 2 scallions, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup chopped parsley
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon leaves (optional)
1. Put 2 tablespoons of the butter or oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the barley and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring a couple of times to promote creaminess, until the water has nearly been absorbed, about 20 minutes for pearled barley, 30 to 40 for hulled.
2. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter or oil in a deep skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until plump, a minute or two. Add the beans and sprinkle with salt. Cover and cook, shaking the pan once or twice to prevent them from sticking, until just tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the corn, bell pepper, and scallion and cook the mixture for a minute or two. Stir in the barley and whatever cooking water remains in the pot (it should be only a tablespoon or two). Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened slightly and the succotash is creamy, another 5 minutes or so. Stir in the parsley and the tarragon if you're using it, then taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.