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Barley & Wild Rice Pilaf with Pomegranate Seeds

What you need: 

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup wild rice, rinsed
3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 cup pomegranate seeds
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest, preferably organic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

What you do: 

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened.
2. Add pearl barley and wild rice; stir for a few seconds. Add broth and bring to a simmer.
3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the wild rice and barley are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 45 to 50 minutes.
4. Toast pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until light golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
5. Add pomegranate seeds, lemon zest, parsley, and toasted pine nuts to the pilaf; fluff with a fork. Serve hot.

Preparation Time: 
20 minutes; Cooking time: 50 minutes
Cooking Time: 
50 minutes
Servings: 
5
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

This is a thanksgiving day staple in our house!! True, the pomegranate is a bit of work, but I found bags of fresh pomegranate seeds in the produce section around the holidays! It is delicious and very festive w/ the bright red seeds shining in the dish.

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I bought my first pomegranate, and after I opened it, I realized I had no clue what to do with it.
So I made this recipe, though I will admit, I substituted lots of things to the point that I don't know if it's your recipe or not anymore.
First, I substituted brown rice for the barley, because I didn't have any.
I didn't have any pine nuts, so I toasted some sesame seeds.
I didn't have any lemon zest, so I squeezed the juice of one lime into the pilaf.
FINALLY, I didn't have any parsley (can you see the trend?  ::)) so I subbed a tiny bit of basil.
With all these substitutions, I realized that the reviews would probably not pertain to the pilaf I made--but it was delicious! I'm taking some to lunch tomorrow, and I think I'll add a bit of tofu to the mix.
Thanks for putting this up, and dealing with reviewers like me that totally change the recipe, lol.

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I bought a pomegranate on a whim but wasn't sure what to do with it. I decided on this recipe because of the wonderful reviews.
As I was making the recipe, I realized that I didn't have a lemon, so I improvised. I zested an orange.  It added a nice flavour without overpowering the dish. So, if you are without lemon, orange is a good substitute.
We really like this pilaf. mmm, mmm,  ;)b

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I'm revisiting this recipe again this Thanksgiving-- was such a hit the first time...

Loved that I could make it the night before. Prepare the rice & barley the night before and kept the pomegranate seeds, parsley, toasted pine nuts, lemon zest etc all separate sealed in a zip-loc bag (you don't want the zest or seeds to dry out!).

The day of, reheat the rice & barley with a touch of veggie stock on the stove top (or microwave) then stir in the Pom seeds, parsley, pine nuts & lemon zest!

So easy and impresses the 'masses'!

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This was absolutely wonderful.  Great mix of textures and flavors! 

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I found packages of pomegranate seeds in the grocery section of an Indian restaurant in San Antonio.  I  bought two packages.  The dried seeds are as hard as pieces of wood.  I soaked part of 1 pkg. of  them in water overnight before I used them.  Unfortunately, I didn't soak enough to make a cup when re hydrated so I made up the difference with unsoaked.  Big mistake!  I also was short a bit of vegetable broth and made up the difference with the soaking water.  That gave the dish maybe a bit more tartness than it would have had.  It was still really good and I'll make it again with enough soaked seeds and only vegetable broth.  I used fitday to calculate the calories in this recipe and substituting the value of 1 pomegranate for just the seeds (which I couldn't find a separate value for) gave 235 calories for 1 serving, 7 grams of fat, 38 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams of that is fiber and 8 grams of protein.  All 5 servings have 1,175 calories (if you binged and ate it all but don't do that!  :))

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how many are needed for 1 cup of seeds? Thanks!

I didn't see an answer to this question, so I'd like to re-ask it!  Also, our H-E-B had a sign saying to roll a pmegranate on a counter while applying pressure with the palm of your hand (like you can do to maximize juice from a lemon) and then poke a straw through the skin and sip the juice.  Would doing this ruin (burst) the seeds?  I've actually never had a pomegranate but this recipe looks like something we might like. 

One pomegranate is enough for one cup of seeds - they have tons! Also, all the juice is in the seeds - you don't eat/drink any other part of the pomegranate, so yes, rolling it and then drinking it through the straw is intended to cause the seeds to burst and become juice. :-)

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how many are needed for 1 cup of seeds? Thanks!

I didn't see an answer to this question, so I'd like to re-ask it!  Also, our H-E-B had a sign saying to roll a pmegranate on a counter while applying pressure with the palm of your hand (like you can do to maximize juice from a lemon) and then poke a straw through the skin and sip the juice.  Would doing this ruin (burst) the seeds?  I've actually never had a pomegranate but this recipe looks like something we might like. 

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this is fabulous!  I loooooove it.  I used brown rice for barley and that was fine.  it's very impressive with all the different colors and flavors.

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Try this way to seed a pomegranate, cut it in half, hold cut side down, over a bowl, then whack the heck out of the outside with a wooden spoon.  You should get a lovely shower of pomegranate seeds. ;)

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