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1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook 1 cup pearl barley until tender but still al dente, about 35 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking.
2. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter over medium-high heat. Add 1 shallot, minced, and season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Cook until softened, about 2 minutes; add barley and stir to combine. Transfer barley mixture to a large bowl and stir in 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Make ahead: Refrigerate the pilaf up to 2 days. Add lemon juice and parsley before serving.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 298 calories, 12 grams fat (4.2 grams saturated fat), 43 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 8 grams fiber and 36 percent of calories from fat.
Frisee salad with brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place an ovenproof wire rack on top. Place 4 slices thick-cut bacon on rack, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon dark-brown sugar, and season with ground pepper. Bake until bacon is crisp and glaze is bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain bacon on paper towels, then roughly chop.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard; season with coarse salt and pepper. Add bacon and 2 bunches (8 ounces total) frisee, torn into bite-size pieces. Toss well to coat.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 210 calories, 11 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat), 24 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 2 grams fiber and 47 percent of calories from fat.
1. In a medium saucepan, cover 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces, with 2 inches salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and set them in strainer over pot to dry.
2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add one-third of the potatoes to pan and shake pan to arrange potatoes in one layer. Cook potatoes, without stirring, until crisp and golden on one side, then gently turn and cook until golden on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat twice with remaining potatoes, adding 2 tablespoons oil for each batch.
3. Add 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced, to skillet. Cook until slices are golden on both sides, about 2 minutes. To serve, season potatoes and lemon slices with coarse salt and ground pepper and squeeze fresh juice of remaining 1/2 lemon over top.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 288 calories, 7 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 53 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 4 grams fiber and 22 percent of calories from fat.
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Wilted escarole with apples
1. In a small saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 shallot, diced small, and season with coarse salt and ground pepper; cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
2. Add 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces, and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons cider vinegar.
3. In a large bowl, toss 1 bunch (about 1 pound) escarole, roughly chopped, with apple mixture; season with salt and pepper.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 154 calories, 11 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 14 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 4 grams fiber and 64 percent of calories from fat.