This vegetarian slow cooker recipe, adapted from a Good Housekeeping recipe, offers a hearty meatless meal (both economical and a chance to eat low on the food chain) that also incorporates an alternative whole grain, barley, in an unexpected way. Both nourishing and versatile, this risotto is great on its own or as a side dish to meats.
- 2tablespoon butter, divided
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2Cup pearl barley
- 4cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 2cup water
- 1 large (2 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1/4teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, found in refrigerated section
- 2tablespoon fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves, chopped, optional condiment
The creamy parmesan cheese and butter elevate this dish to a new level and the amount of butter is minimal especially compared to the amount of risotto this recipe makes. Do not leave it out (unless you are vegan or sensitive to dairy) and try to buy the highest quality parmesan cheese and butter you can find.