The hearty flavors of fall and winter squash always provide the depth to make even a meatless dish more than enough to stand alone as a main course. As I was creating this recipe with delicata squash, I realized it is also vegan and that’s just a happy accident. But trust me when I say you won’t miss the animal-based protein. Plus, for meat eaters, you could always serve this under a piece of roasted chicken or salmon.
Barley Mushroom Risotto with Delicata Squash
1 1/2 cups quick cook barley
1 delicata squash
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 pint baby Bella mushrooms
4 cups vegetable broth
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Prepare vegetables: Wash delicata squash, cut in half and remove seeds. Dice squash into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces. Dice onion. Mince garlic. Slice mushrooms.
Mix squash with 2-3 tablespoons avocado oil and salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, flipping halfway through. You want the squash to be cooked but not overly charred.
In a medium saucepan, add 2 tablespoons avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook about 4 minutes. Toss in garlic and sliced mushrooms, and cook another 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in barley. .
Add in vegetable stock 1 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed. Do this until all vegetable stock is used and barley is cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in roasted squash. Season with additional salt and pepper and serve with chopped parsley for a fresh topping.