Wild Mushroom – Barley Holiday Stuffing

2 Teaspoons – salt, divided

1 ½ Cups – uncooked barley, pearl variety

2 Teaspoons – olive oil, divided

1 – medium onion (chopped)

5 – slices of Canadian style bacon, diced

2 – small carrots, diced

1 lb. – mushrooms, fresh, assorted wild varieties, sliced*

2 Teaspoons – garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons – thyme, fresh, chopped

2 Tablespoons – sage, fresh, chopped

¼ Teaspoon – black pepper, freshly ground

1 Cup – fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth (optional)

2 Tablespoons – parsley, fresh, chopped

Bring 8 cups of water and ½ teaspoon of salt to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add barley.  Cover saucepan, reduce heat and simmer barley until tender, about 30 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large, nonstick stockpot over medium-high heat; add onion, bacon and carrots.  Cook stirring often, until onion is lightly browned and almost tender, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and garlic; cook, stirring often, until all vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes more.

Stir in thyme, sage, pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and remaining 1 teaspoon of oil.  Reduce heat to low; stir in broth to achieve desired consistency.  Add cooked barley; toss to coat.

Remove from heat; transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with parsley.

* Types of mushrooms used: baby bella, oyster, and/or shiitake mushrooms.

By Kitchen Revival