What’s All That Pink Stuff?

It happens every year about this time. We have a few 70-degree days and the gun is jumped. Tank tops are re-introduced to pale skin, chaco sandals are thrown on, the pony-tail is back in action.

And then it’s over. Just like that. The temperature drops and all hopes and dreams of a new life are brought down with it. It’s like the Titanic of temperatures, and I’m Kate Winslet standing on the edge of the ship with my arms stretched out holding my chacos and black tank tops screaming, “YOU’RE NOT THE KING OF SEASONS!”

I realize this makes less than zero sense.

The moral of the story is; when the temperatures drop, eat more winter root vegetables.

And then watch Titanic, because come on, so good.

Root Vegetable and Barley Risotto (AKA: Pink Bowl of Health)

What it took for 2:

* 1 cup quick-cooking barley

* 2 carrots, diced into 1-inch chunks

* 3 parsnips, wax removed and diced into 1-inch chunks

* 2 small red beets, cut into 1-inch cubes

* 4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided

* 1/2 bunch swiss chard, torn into small ribbons

* 4 cups organic chicken stock

* ½ medium onion, chopped

* 3 garlic cloves, minced

* ½ cup white wine, or vermouth

* 2 tsp. fresh thyme, or dried

* 2 Tbs. butter

* ½ cup parmesan cheese

* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat your oven to 425.

Toss the carrots, parsnips, beets and good pinch of salt and pepper with 2 Tbs. oil and arrange them on a baking sheet. Roast about 30 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine the chicken broth and thyme and bring to a simmer.

In a medium skillet, bring the remaining 2 Tbs. oil to a medium heat. When it’s shimmering, add the onion. Cook about 3 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the garlic and bloom for 30 seconds. Add the barley and toast it in the pan about 2 minutes. Add the wine or vermouth and let it sizzle and burn off. Add a cup of the broth and let it simmer away until the mixture slightly thickens. Keep adding cup after cup and stir, until the barley has softened and the mixture becomes creamy and wonderful. Toss in the butter for more creaminess. Finally stir in the vegetables and swiss chard. Taste it and give it what it needs.

Serve with a sprinkle of cheese on top!

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