Greek Shrimp, Pearl Barley and Kale with Feta
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 12 ounces peeled and deveined 16/20 shrimp
- 1 cup finely diced onion
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
- 12 ounces baby kale
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 cups cooked pearl barley (can substitute farro, brown rice, wheatberries, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese, divided
- 1 cup chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Set a colander over a wide bowl and set aside.
In a deep-sided, oven proof skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for a minute, and season very lightly with a touch of salt and pepper. When the shrimp are golden on one side, carefully turn and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer the shrimp into the colander.
Add a tablespoon of oil to the skillet and lower the heat to medium-low. Add the onion, seasoning to taste with salt, and cook, stirring periodically, until the onions are translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Transfer the onion and tomato mixture into the colander with the shrimp.
Add the remaining oil into the skillet, along with half of the kale. Cook the kale, stirring periodically, until they begin to wilt and make room for the remaining kale. Add the rest of the kale, seasoning with salt and pepper. When all the kale is wilted, transfer it to the colander. Shake the colander to drain as much of the juices into the bowl.
Return the skillet to the stove and stir in the wine and the juices reserved from the bowl. Bring it to a boil and let it bubble until the liquid has reduced to about 1/4 cup. Stir in the barley, cilantro, 2 ounces of the feta cheese, and the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Add the ingredients from the colander, nestling the shrimp into the grains. Sprinkle the remaining feta cheese on top and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Sara Moulton’s method of cooking this dish in stages but in one pan guarantees perfect texture while eliminating extra clean up. The type of greens and grains you use can be adapted to whatever you have on hand. Spinach, chard, mustard greens all work in place of kale, as well as all the varieties of grains!