V Skillet Squash and Collards with Barley
From Martha Rose Shulman - serves 4-6; ready in about an hour 15 minutes, but the barley cooking time is mostly inactive time
1 cup barley (regular or purple)
1 quart water
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 generous bunch collard greens (about 1 pound) cut crosswise in ribbons
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons slivered fresh sage
Lemon juice to taste
1. Combine the barley and water in a medium saucepan, add salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 50 minutes to an hour (longer for purple barley), until the barley is tender. There should still be plenty of water in the pot. Place a strainer over a bowl and drain the barley. Measure out 1 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the barley to a serving bowl and keep warm.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat and sear the squash for 5 to 10 minutes, until it is lightly colored. Add the greens and cook, stirring, until they are wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper and sage and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, until the mixture is fragrant, then add the stock or barley water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 10 minutes, until the squash and greens are tender. Add lemon juice to taste, drizzle on the remaining olive oil, adjust seasoning and serve with the barley.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.