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Slow Cooker Barley Squash Risotto ~ Serves 6
Prep 20 min ~ Total 5 hrs 20 min

This risotto doesn’t require any supervision.
Fragrant, with nutty sweetness from the butternut squash, it’s an elegant fall and winter side dish.

1/4 cup butter, divided
1 large onion, finely chopped
227-g package sliced cremini mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups pearl barley
3/4 cup white wine
400-g package cubed butternut squash, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
900 mL vegetable broth
1/2 cup water
1 cup grated parmesan
fried sage leaves, optional

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large frying pan set over medium high. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until onion is soft and no liquid from mushrooms remains, 7 to 8 minutes. Add barley and stir until glossy, about 1 minute. Add wine and stir often until barley has absorbed all of the liquid, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker insert.
Stir in squash, broth and 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook on low for 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and parmesan. If risotto is dry, add 1/4 cup water. Top with fried sage leaves, if desired.

Nutrition (per serving) ~ Calories 375, Protein 13 g, Carbohydrates 56 g, Fat 13 g, Fibre 6 g, Sodium 804 mg.


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