Knarley Barley

Knarley Barley3Knarley Barley is our take on beans and greens. In some variation or another, we probably eat this weekly. We’ve always got some sort of beans in the freezer and greens in the fridge. Chopped tomatoes are a pantry item always on hand, as with the rest of the ingredients. It’s absolutely my go to meal and it’s quick and easy. And while I do tend to make it with barley, hence the name, it’s also great with pasta or rice or whatever other grain you might have in the cupboard (polenta is my second favorite option).

Another reason I love this dish so much is because along with being fulfilling, it’s wonderfully healthy. We all know that dark green veggies are great for our health. They are loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals that enhance brain function and heart health. They also posses qualities that inhibit the growth of certain cancers. Today I used broccoli rabe for our Knarley Barley. This green in particular contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron. We’ve also got garbanzo beans, which are high in protein, fiber and folate, among other nutrients and tomatoes, which are loaded with vitamin C, A and lycopene. I could go on, but you get the point. This is one nutrient packed meal! And I haven’t even talked about the benefits of barley…

It got it’s name from Steve, who was tasked with coming up with a catchy name for it for a blog post. It’s a catchy name, so it stuck.

Knarley Barley2

  • 1 cup pearled barley, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups water or stock
  • Salt (if you’re not using stock)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch dark greens (broccoli rabe, kale, collards, etc…), washed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked beans (I generally use garbanzo or white kidney)
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika or liquid smoke (optional)
  • Hot sauce (optional)

Combine water or stock, salt if using and barley in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. Keep your eye on this, barley will stick and burn if left on too long.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and sweat for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for another minute. Add greens, stock, tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and paprika or liquid smoke and let cook for another 15 minutes.

Serve over barley and drizzle with hot sauce as desired.



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