People tend to cook barley more in the winter than in the summer. But once it’s been toasted in a saucepan with some butter and boiled (only 20 minutes), barley is a terrific showcase for superfresh vegetables, like the broccoli Grace Parisi uses here.
Photographer and Alabamian Robert Rausch grew up eating vegetable casseroles—he and his mother are both vegetarians. The broccoli casserole his family ate is a step up from the standard church cookbook recipe, which calls for using canned mushroom soup: In place of that, he uses wild mushrooms. He still relies on Ritz crackers, though, for the crispy, buttery topping.
Thanksgiving Make-Ahead Tip: The miso dressing can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, while the cooked and chilled broccoli can be refrigerated overnight. Toss the broccoli with the dressing and sesame seeds just before serving.