850g Kent pumpkin
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup firmly packed fresh sage leaves
4 cups (1 litre) chicken style or vegetable stock
1 leek, trimmed, halved lengthways, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups (300g) pearl barley
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup (75g) finely grated parmesan cheese
extra fried sage leaves, to garnish
Preheat oven to 200C. Slice pumpkin into 3cm thick wedges. Slice each wedge in half again. Place pumpkin on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast pumpkin for 20 minutes. Add nutmeg, maple syrup and sage. Toss gently. Roast for a further 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and tender.
Heat stock in a saucepan and keep it on a low simmer.
Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan (we used a Le Crusset French Oven) over medium heat. Add leek and garlic. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes, or until soft, but not colored. Stir in barley. Add wine. Reduce by half. Add half a cup of the simmering stock and stir occasionally until liquid is absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock. This should take 30 minutes, or until barley is tender. Remove from the heat. Cover and sit for 5 minutes.
Gently stir in pumpkin and half the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with remaining parmesan and extra fried sage leaves, to garnish.
Smart Tip + To fry sage leaves, shallow fry in a small saucepan of olive oil over a medium heat for 30 seconds or until crisp. Drain on paper towel.