i moved into a new apartment last weekend! it is still mostly in shambles, but the kitchen is set up, snaut has adjusted and is back to his ornery self, the water pressure in the shower is truly remarkable, and i’ve been sleeping well. things are off to a great start.
i made dinner at home for the first time tonight — i was inspired by this recipe, which showed up in my reader this week. perfect for a chilly san francisco night in a new, warm home!
baked butternut squash kale barley risotto
(adapted from real simple)
2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cups butternut squash (not gonna lie, I used the 12 oz., pre-cut bag of it from TJ’s, but you could peel, seed, and cut up a whole one if you want)
2 brat-sized sausages, cut into bite-sized pieces (i like the garlic herb ones from TJ’s)
salt and pepper
1 cup pearl barley
1 cup white wine
2.5 cups vegetable broth
5 oz. kale (i used half the 10 oz. prepackaged bag from TJ’s…are you seeing the trend? the new apartment is a very short walk from TJ’s…)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 T butter
preheat the oven to 400. hope the oven thermostat is correct because you forgot to bring the oven thermometer from your last apartment. make a note to get one of those.
if you have a dutch oven, get that baby on the stove over some heat. if you don’t have one because you’re saving it for your wedding registry, a big, short saucepan or even a stockpot will do just fine.
pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil. put on some christmas music while the oil heats up!
add the onion, butternut squash, sausage, salt, and pepper. sauté until the onion is translucent, five minutes or so.
feed the cat so he stops being so damn underfoot all the time, jeez!
stir in the barley and toss/toast it for about a minute.
stir in the wine and let it burn off for a minute or two. while you’re waiting, pour yourself a glass. mmmm, charles shaw. (hey, moving ain’t cheap. and neither are apartments in san francisco. you can use nice wine if you can afford it, moneybags.)
add the stock and kale; cover the pot and let the kale wilt for a minute or two. then uncover it and stir in the wilted kale. bring the everything to a boil.
if you’re using a dutch oven, throw the lid on that baby and stick it in the preheated non-dutch oven. if you’re a hopeful woman living in sin, transfer the contents of your trusty stockpot to an oven-safe 2.5-quart casserole dish with a lid, cover it, and put that in the preheated oven. (bonus points if it’s vintage pyrex!! you’re going to make an awesome wife someday!)
bake it for 35-40 minutes.
change into pajamas and type up the recipe while drinking more wine and cuddling with the cat. eat a few potato chips for a snack if you must.
once the barley is tender and the liquid is mostly soaked up, take your delicious-smelling meal out of the oven. make a mental note to get some mitten-type potholders because the ones that you hold but don’t fit onto your actual hands really don’t cut it.
stir in some parmesan (about half a cup) and a tablespoon of butter for good measure.
let cool slightly to soak up the rest of the liquid and serve in brightly colored bowls with more parmesan and more wine. watch some TV while you eat and be super thankful for your awesome life!