Butternut Barley Cheddar Gratin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ red onion, diced
- 3½ cups cubed butternut squash
- 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low-fat milk (I used 1%)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 4 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 ounces parmesan cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine the barley with 3 cups of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover for 35-40 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed. Drain any remaining water.
- While the barley is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large fry pan. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds over medium heat, until fragrant. Add the onion and cook for another 3 minutes, until translucent. Pour in the squash and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is just fork tender.
- While the squash cooks, melt the butter in a separate saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for 30-45 seconds, until it forms a paste. Pour in the milk, salt, pepper, rosemary, and nutmeg, and bring to a boil. Whisk constantly for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine the barley, squash, and cheese sauce. Stir until the sauce is well distributed. Pour into an 8×8-inch baking dish, then top with the parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover, put the oven on broil, and broil for 5 minutes, until the top is golden.
- Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.