During the warm months it’s difficult to oven-roast anything and everything or plop a dutch oven on the stove for a heart-warming stew. It’s just too damn hot, right?! But what if you need something comforting? Like comfort food without the house-warming properties. It’s practically summer. This is no time to be warming the house via oven or stove. Well…unless you’re baking something…like cookies!
Ok, back to comfort food.
Have you heard of “June Gloom?” Well, it’s a strange phenomenon Southern California experiences only in June. Gloomy mornings, a thick marine layer in the afternoon and maybe 2 to 3 hours of sunshine. This gloom evoked in me a desire for something comforting, but not something that would monopolize my oven for a lengthy period. I wasn’t in the mood to warm my house any more than it had to be. But low and behold I found a recipe for ragout! A ragout in less than one hour. I’m a fan!
I loosely adapted it from Shape Magazine. Rather than pairing the ragout with polenta, I paired it with pearled barley for the additional fiber and reduced the amount of olive oil used. Moreover, I decided to add more flavor with red wine, in place of vegetable broth. Let me tell you, the red wine addition? Bonus! Tasty!
Nutritional perks –
- Tomato – Contains an antioxidant called Lycopene, which is known to help flush out free radicals from the body and aid in the fight against cancer cell formation.
Red wine – The antioxidant in red wine called Resveratrol, is known to reduce the risk of breast cancer, osteoporosis, estrogen depletion and cardiovascular disease.
Pearl barley – A heart-smart choice! Full of dietary fiber, contains Vitamin B3 and B1 as well as iron, magnesium and zinc. It’s pretty much a nutritional super hero.
Antioxidant Packed Ragout with Pearl Barley
Inspired from this recipe
– 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
– 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
– 1 shallot, thinly sliced
– 1 tsp tomato paste
– 2 cups button mushrooms, sliced. Any type of mushroom can work in the dish.
– 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
– 1/2 cup red wine
– 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
– Sea salt and pepper to taste
Cook pearl barley according to package. You may want to use vegetable broth rather than water. The choice is yours. I used water in my barley preparation for this recipe. When barley is finished cooking, season it with the dried rosemary and sea salt and pepper to taste.
In a pot or skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and shallot. Cook for about two minutes. Add the tomato paste and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the red wine, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the grape tomatoes and cook until sauce thickens. This took about 5 to 10 minutes for me. Remove from heat.
Combine the pearl barley and tomato and mushroom ragout and enjoy it’s comforting and healthy properties!
The original recipe suggests topping the dish with shaved parmesan, but I completely forgot to add on mine. Woopps!