Heat a wide pan and add the butter and fennel seeds, then sauté for a minute, stirring often. Add the butternut squash with ½ teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper and sauté for 2 minutes over a moderate heat, stirring often.
Remove the butternut squash from the pan with a slotted spoon (don’t worry if any fennel seeds remain), then add the leek, onions, bay leaves and garlic, and sauté until the onions are just beginning to caramelize. Add the barley to the pan and stir for a minute, then return the butternut squash to the pan, together with
Stir in the Parmesan, taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and serve immediately.
© 2007 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.