I'm a big fan of breakfast, and in the colder seasons I find myself making warm, nourishing meals (as opposed to my favorite cold cereals). We love oatmeal, but then I came across this baked barley recipe and I had to try it. What a treat! With chopped dried apricots, pistachios, and honey, it is a nod to middle eastern fare and it was so substantive and delicious.
I used regular pearled barley as well as some fancy purple barley too, though it ended up looking just plain brown after it was cooked. If you like the chew in steel-cut oatmeal, you probably like barley as well. And it is so good for you! The sweetness comes from the honey and apricots - there is no refined sugar here. I prepared it the night before and put it in the fridge so that in the morning I just had to pop it in the oven. The recipe is adapted from Not Your Mother's Casseroles by Faith Durand.
Baked Barley Breakfast
1 1/2 cups pearled barley
1 T unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 1/2 cups water
3 T honey, plus more for serving
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped, dried unsulphured apricots
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut
Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease 8-inch square baking dish.
Rinse barley in water and drain. Heat butter over medium heat in a saucepan and cook barley for 3-5 minutes or until it smells toasty. Add salt, almond milk, water and honey and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, beat eggs in a small bowl. Once barley mixture is boiling, turn off heat. Pour a spoonful or two of milk into the egg and whisk together to temper. Whisk egg into barley mixture.
Stir in apricots, pistachios, and coconut. Pour everything into prepared dish.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until top is light brown and it is no longer liquid-y. Serve warm, with a drizzle of honey. Oh, and I may have eaten it with a piece of baklava, too...
There are a few other baked barley recipes floating around. This week I'm going to try the blackberry barley bake and also try to make it in the slow cooker.
This morning I ate some leftovers while Miss Mayumi and I had our morning Advent devotional. This year I created little cards that outline our devotional (song and scripture) along with a simple activity and service project, as well as a corresponding ornament for the tree. It has been so endearing to see her excitedly open the little drawer every morning to see what they day will bring her.
In other news, I've finished addressing our holiday card and am hoping to stamp them and get them in the mail today (these are the exciting things in my life!). Though sending out all those cards is a daunting task every year, I love to do it. I smile at the idea of family and friends opening it and seeing our THREE little munchkins - how fun to announce a new birth this way! I still get a childish thrill when I receive cards in the mail, especially Christmas cards. I adore it when people send out their yearly newsletter with updates on every one in the family. So I like to imagine that our humble little card will bring cheer into some homes this season.