Thin slices of potato form the crust for this unusual entrée. Using canned roasted peppers makes preparation fast. To work efficiently, put the water for the barley on to boil first, then prepare and cook the potatoes, as these need 20 minutes of roasting to become tender.
- 1 large Russet baking potato (about ½ lb.), rinsed and unpeeled
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking barley
- 2 bunches spinach (about 20 oz.), trimmed and rinsed
- 2 ½ cups low-fat shredded cheddar
- 2 large roasted red peppers, cut into strips
- 1 cup marinara or spaghetti sauce for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450F. Spray 9-inch deep-dish pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Bring 2 cups water to a boil.
- Slice potato into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and place around bottom of pie plate in single layer. Reserve any remaining potato slices for another use. Spray potato slices lightly with nonstick cooking spray,
- Meanwhile, cook barley according to package directions, drain and place in large mixing bowl. Cut spinach widthwise into large pieces, and, using water clinging to leaves, steam spinach in covered pot until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and press out excess water. Combine with barley in mixing bowl. Add 2 cups shredded cheese, and toss together.
- Place pepper strips on potato slices. Mound barley mixture on top of pepper strips, sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake 7 to 10 minutes more, or until cheese bubbles and browns.
- Remove from heat, slice and serve. Pass with marinara sauce.
While the earthiness of the potatoes, spinach and barley, and the creaminess of the cheese would normally call for a creamy-earthy wine, the marinara topping on this pie calls for a wine with a bit of acidity to stand up to the tomato sauce. Try this Sangiovese-based wine from Tuscany: Rosso di Montalcino Vendemmia.