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Acorn Squash with Mushroom Barley

September 10, 2010

I dedicate this recipe to a close friend from college, who became an even better friend after college. She is presently in the middle of a large legal battle with a dairy farm. I am always proud of how she uses her law degree in order to fight for animal rights, which is her personal passion. A vegan, NR makes every effort to live by her beliefs, and is raising her son, who is almost a year, as a vegan. Hopefully, her husband can make this for her when she is burning the midnight oil.

For the interested reader, this recipe has an earthy, but sweet, flavor, and is perfect for two (or a recipe for one, with leftovers for lunch the next day). It is a wonderful Fall meal, and the ingredients are fresh at the farmer’s market right now. Just a note, there are alot of mushrooms in this recipe, so feel free to downsize. I tend to use an entire package of mushrooms at once because I often abandon the neglected portion. I just forget to use mushrooms, and they become all sorts of interesting textures and shapes in my crisper.  AAM doesn’t really like mushroom texture, but likes the flavor. So for this recipe, I find chopping them helps eliminate that issues. Also, you may have alot of extra mushroom barley leftover, if so enjoy for lunch the next day. Today, I am having my leftovers with a freshly cut, salted tomato with a little olive oil on top for lunch. Yum, Yum!

**I apologize for the poor photo quality. We haven’t had time to install the new kitchen light, and my camera is on some funky digital mode that refuses to give good lighting– time to dig out the directions. I miss manual cameras and old fashioned film…


Acorn Squash with Mushroom Barley


  • 1 acorn squash halved
  • 2 tb olive oil
  • 1 tb brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tb olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of Barley
  • 3 cups of veggie broth
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 2 cups of chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 tb dried sage
  • 1 tb dried thyme
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Preheat the oven at 400
  2. Take the two halves of the squash and spoon out the seeds, but leave the squash.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, stir the olive oil and brown sugar together. Using a brush spread the mixture on top of the acorn squash.

  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place the acorn in a baking dish in the oven. Let roast for an hour.
  5. In a saute pan, toss in the onions, garlic, sage, thyme and olive oil together and saute until the onions become translucent.
  6. Throw in the barley, and slowly add the veggie broth and white wine (much like with risotto). Over medium low heat the barley cook. As it absorbs the broth and wine,  stir the mixture to make sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. After 2 cups of broth have been added, throw in the mushrooms.

7. When both the squash and barley are done, drain the leftoever oil, then spoon the mushroom barley on top of the squash, and serve.


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