Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bean, Barley and Salmon Bake

Once I blurted out about a dish, "And it's vegetarian except for the meat!" Of course I have never been allowed to forget that.

This casserole turns out to be quite satisfying and tasty. Remember when cooking your beans and barley, that they won't cook much further in this casserole, so make sure they're done to a texture you like.

When sorting beans, I've found that a white plate works really well. Tip a single layer of beans onto the plate and pick out any rocks or broken beans, then tip into a rice washer. I use my rice washer all the time; it rarely makes it into a cupboard. It's great for rinsing lentils, berries, beans, cherries, cherry tomatoes ... and generally for holding chopped vegetables waiting to go into soups or stews.

Soaking beans overnight in cold water, then rinsing and draining, and cooking them in fresh water, will preserve the skins and the beans' shapes the best, and renders them maximally digestible. Fast heating will split the skins and they'll separate from the bean, unless you've presoaked.
Adapted from this recipe

2 cups cooked CSA beans (7-bean mix)
2 cups cooked CSA pearl barley
2 6-ounce cans wild salmon, drained
1-1/2 cups shredded goat cheddar (smoked goat gouda adds a nice flavor, too) or cheddar cheese
1 cup diced CSA red onion

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried dill
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chopped parsley, green onions, or other greenery

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine beans, barley, salmon, onion, and 1 cup of the cheese.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk thoroughly the egg, milk, lemon juice, dill, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and salt.

Stir egg mixture into the bean mixture, and pour into an oiled or buttered 3-quart casserole. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until cooked through. Scatter some parsley across the top before serving.

Serve with fresh CSA Cameo apples and yesterday's muffins!

To cook presoaked beans: I cooked 4 cups of the CSA beans, used 2 cups in this recipe and froze the rest for soups. Place presoaked, rinsed and drained beans in a pot and fill with water to 2 inches above the beans. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer about 45 minutes to an hour, or until beans are soft. The texture of the beans when you stop cooking will be the texture of the beans in the finished casserole.

To cook pearl barley: For this casserole, place 2/3 cup rinsed and drained barley in a pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook about 30 minutes or until barley is tender. Texture of the barley when you stop cooking will be the texture of the barley in the finished casserole. You should end up with about 2 cups of cooked barley.

1 comment:

  1. After you soak beans overnight, use the drained water to fertilize something in your garden instead of letting it go down the drain.