Red cabbage is braised in blood orange juice and aromatics for a very simple, wholesome dinner. Barley is a great winter food: hearty and filling without being heavy, and very high in fiber and selenium.
|1 c||barley (pearled or hulled)|
|2 c||water (or broth)|
|3⁄4 t||salt (divided)|
|1 T||coconut oil (or ghee)|
|1⁄2 T||mustard seeds|
|1 T||fennel seeds|
|2||star anise (whole)|
|4 clv||garlic (minced)|
|1 lb||red cabbage (sliced into thin ribbons)|
|2 T||apple cider vinegar|
|1 c||blood orange juice (from 3-4 blood oranges)|
|1 T||olive oil|
Rinse the barley in a fine-mesh sive under cool water, rubbing grains together to wash. When the water runs clear, place the barley in a saucepan and combine with the water or broth and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce the heat to low. Cover and continue to cook over low heat for 40-50 minutes, until tender. If the liquid evaporates before the barley is tender, add 1/4-1/2 cup more water or broth. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat the coconut oil or ghee in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir in the mustard seeds and wait until they begin to pop. Stir in the fennel seeds, bay leaves, star anise, and black pepper to taste. Add the onions to the pot and sauté about 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the garlic, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cabbge. Lower the heat to medium, and allow to cook, undisturbed, for 1-2 minutes. Add the apple cider vinegar, and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the blood orange juice and stir well to combine, then cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the cabbage is cooked, 10-20 minutes, depending on how firm you like your cabbage.
Fluff the barley with a fork, and scoop onto plates. Spoon the braised cabbage over it, and garnish with a light drizzle of olive oil over each plate.