In the spirit of the season, I’m revisiting one of my go-to recipes that makes the best of summer produce. This barley salad with roasted Mediterranean vegetables is a great choice for sharing with family and friends at picnics, potlucks or parties over the next few summer months.
I originally posted this recipe in 2007, and haven’t really changed much except to simplify and punch up the flavor a little.
I like to arrange some arugula or baby spinach leaves on the bowl or platter before piling on the barley mixture.
Make ahead note: Salad can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Return to room temperature before serving.
- 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, diced
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (2 pint containers)
- 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/4 cups pearl barley
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat feta cheese
- Arugula or baby spinach leaves; a few handfuls
- Put rack in middle of oven and preheat to 425°F.
- Toss eggplant, tomatoes and bell pepper with 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast vegetables until eggplant is golden brown and tender and tomatoes are shriveled, stirring halfway through, about 25 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the cumin, coriander, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add barley and cook, stirring until well coated with oil for 1 minute more. Add water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer barley to baking pan with roasted vegetables and spread to cool, about 20 minutes.
- Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, honey, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and oil; pour over the barley and vegetables along with the basil and feta; mix together, and transfer to a serving bowl or platter.
- I like to arrange some arugula or baby spinach leaves on the bowl or platter before piling on the barley mixture.
- Make ahead note: Salad can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Return to room temperature before serving.