- 2 tsp table salt, divided
- 1 1/2 cup(s) uncooked pearl barley, pearl variety
- 2 tsp olive oil, divided
- 1 medium uncooked onion(s), chopped
- 5 slice(s) uncooked Canadian bacon, diced
- 2 small uncooked carrot(s), diced
- 1 pound(s) fresh mushroom(s), fresh, assorted wild-varieties, sliced*
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, fresh, chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 cup(s) canned chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, fresh, chopped
Bring 8 cups of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt to a boil in a large saucepan; add barley. Cover saucepan, reduce heat and simmer barley until tender, about 30 minutes; drain.
Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick stockpot over medium-high heat; add onion, bacon and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until onion is lightly browned and almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook, stirring often, until all vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes more.
Stir in thyme, sage, pepper, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and remaining teaspoon of oil. Reduce heat to low; stir in broth to achieve desired consistency. Add cooked barley; toss to coat. Remove from heat; transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with parsley. Yields about 1 cup per serving.
- *We suggest using baby bella, oyster and/or shiitake mushrooms.This unusual but delicious stuffing has all the traditional flavors of regular bread stuffing but with much less fat and much more fiber. We used low-in-fat Canadian bacon to replace the sausage found in typical stuffings, but feel free to omit the bacon, and swap vegetable broth for the chicken broth to make a vegetarian version. You can prepare this recipe a day in advance. When ready to serve, coat a shallow 2- to 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Spoon in stuffing, cover dish and bake at 350ºF until heated through, about 30 minutes.