Among the Olives – Ovenbaked Barley With Jerusalem Artichokes, Carrots and Potatoes

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The olive trees around here are waving to me when I walk or drive by, it looks so friendly but no they are not alive, it’s just the olive pickers shaking the boughs or climbing up to reach the olives up there by the sky. Personally I am very happy we don’t have more that one olive tree because there are already too many musts in my life already but I love to see other people work there on the fields and above all, I love what their work bring forth – grass-green, newly pressed extra-virgin olive oil. Who can resist that? Living here in the middle of olives has definitely spoilt me when it comes to olive oil, we buy our oil straight from people we know, small producers or friends with olives, sometimes we buy Tuscan olive oil, sometimes we buy Apulian olive oil and sometimes we buy both. One thing is sure though and that is that we are always exited to taste the new olive oil. A very simple tasting: white bread, a little salt and olive oil. One of life’s treats.

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A short update on a few things going on now: over at our Plate To Page blog you can win a P2P Goodie Bag by participating in a creative creative challenge so click over and check it out! DMBLGIT (Does My Blog Look Good In This) is the oldest food photography contest for food bloggers and I am one of the judges again this month, check out rules and regulations over at Jenn’s blog Jenn Cuisine , she is a passionate food photographer and actually a former P2P participant so don’t just stare at the written word over there, take some time to look at her beautiful photos as well!

But now it is time to eat, nothing fancy, just a quite easygoing and distinctly late Fall recipe with non-expensive ingredients but wait-that doesn’t make it a boring dish, just comfortable I’d say. I love Jersualem artichokes, I think it must be the colour. Oh I like how they taste too, a lot, but that colour and all the shades, they trigger something in me which is slightly surprising because I am more of a blue/green person. Anyway, I used barley here but you can use rice, quinoa, farro, couscous even pasta if you want, feel free to experiment!

Ovenbaked Barley With Jerusalem Artichokes, Carrots and Potatoes

 

 

OVENBAKED BARLEY WITH JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES, CARROTS AND POTATOES
4 servings as a side dish

200 ml/ 0,85 cup barley
200 g/ 7 ounce Jerusalem artichokes
200 g/ 7 ounce carrots
200 g/ 7 ounce peeled potatoes
150 g/ 5,1 ounce leek, thinly sliced
2-3 tbsp chopped herbs, I used thyme, rosemary, a little sage and then a pinch of dried oregano
dry white wine
chili pepper, optional
grated cheese, I use Fontina cheese
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

While the barley cook in a pan with plenty of lightly salted water you peel the carrots and Jerusalem artichokes before cutting them and the potatoes into staves or cubes.

Heat up some olive oil in a skillet, add the vegetables, chili pepper and herbs. And salt of course. Braise vegetables in the wine until soft and a bit golden.

When the barley is ready, drain and mix with the braised vegetables. Add as much grated cheese you feel like, stir well and put it in an oven-proof form and bake in a pre-heated oven (200°C/390°F) for 20-25 minutes or until it looks nicely golden and ready.

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