Sunday, August 24, 2008

Barley, Kale, and Kidney Bean Stew

Rachel had recommended this recipe in the comments, and I wanted to give another recipe a try from the book Vegetarian Planet.  I hadn't yet cooked with kale this summer, and this looked like a pretty hearty dish.  Here is a link to the recipe.

We tend to enjoy lots of stew for leftovers, and were expecting guests for dinner, so I doubled the recipe.  The kale and carrots were both from the farmers' market, but I had to substitute in some baby carrots since my kids insisted on eating raw carrots while hopping around the kitchen like bunny rabbits, and that was hard to say no to!

There's a warning in the book not to oversalt, so I was careful to undersalt so that everyone could adjust according to their taste preferences.  The stew was good, and the barley was a nice change of pace for a grain.  One of our guests suggested adding more kidney beans, since they brought a lot of flavor to the dish, but there didn't seem to be enough of them.  It was quite easy to prepare, especially if chopping is done in advance.  Even though kale is in season now, it felt like more of a fall/winter dish.  I might make it again at some point, but I wasn't excited enough about it for it to be part of our regular meal rotation.

In addition to the stew, we also had some fried squash blossoms with dinner, following WhatACard's recipe here.  I'm sort of terrified of deep frying, but they came out really good, though were sort of luke-warm by the time they got to the table.  I didn't read that I was supposed to leave the stems on until I had already taken them off, which would have made them a little easier to handle in the scary hot oil.  The rest of it was pretty straightforward, though it did take a good amount of prep for such a small part of the meal.  My picture isn't nearly as pretty as the one posted earlier, but here's what they looked like.

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