Last week I tried this amazing Lemon Ratatouille Vegetable Barley Salad from our Café that I knew I had to recreate. The thing that made this salad amazing was the sweet caramelized vegetables that were perfectly balanced with the fresh lemon, chewy, nutty, barley, salty olives and crunchy, fresh from the vine cherry tomatoes. I have been dreaming about it ever since I took my first bite.
I am not quite sure why I’ve waited so long to make Barley into a salad. I know I love barley in soups, stews and chili’s, but, this is the first time I’ve ever had it as a salad. The flavor is very similar to brown rice, but, it has fantastic chew power like the Israeli Couscous in my Harvest Grain Salad.
This weekend, I decided to create my own version using just about every vegetable I bought at my local farmer’s market and fresh tomatoes/basil from our garden. The hardest part was trying to figure out a name. I really wanted to make a Ratatouille because I never have, there is a movie named after it, I have no clue what it really is and, well, it’s just fun to say. I tossed around a few ideas Roasted Vegetable Barley Salad, Lemon Barley Vegetable Salad….but, when, it came down to it, I went with the name that captured all the flavors you taste in every single bite.
This salad is amazing served as a side next to BBQ chicken (1/2 cup = 3 points+), eaten as a meal straight up or on top of a big bowl of mixed greens for the complete Simply Filling or 6 points+ light summer meal.
ROASTED VEGETABLE BARLEY SALAD WITH LEMON (print it!)
- 16 oz pearl barley
- 8 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 eggplant, diced
- 2 zucchini, diced
- 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup basil, chopped
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. In a large soup pan, bring the water or broth to a boil. Add barley and cook according to packaged directions, about 45 minutes, until slightly al dente. You may need to add additional water as it gets absorbed as it cooks.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Chop vegetables (eggplant through garlic) and toss in a large bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Pour on a large cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes stirring half way through.
3. Prepare the dressing by combining the lemon juice, lemon zest, white balsamic and whisking in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.
4. Drain and rinse the barley in cold water. Top with roasted vegetables, tomatoes and basil. Pour dressing over mix and toss gently until combined. Enjoy as is or on top of mixed greens for one completely delicious, filling meal.
Makes 10 heaping 1 cup servings, 100% Simply Filling, vegan & 6 points+ per serving
Nutritional information per serving calculated at caloriecount.com:
STEP – BY – STEP:
I found my barley at my local grocery store in the same section where you find beans.
Barley is a Simply Filling Food, but, it also has fantastic stats at 3 points+ per serving.
You can use water to boil it (no soaking is required ahead of time) or boost the flavor by cooking it in vegetable broth.
I prepped everything else to make up this salad using all the veggies I bought at my local farmer’s market. Can you believe that gigantic onion was only $0.25 and the peppers were 3 for $1?!
Plus $1 per lb sweet, crunchy cherry tomatoes. I buy a bunch of these each week to use in meals, salads or just to snack on when I walk in the kitchen wanting to eat something for no apparent reason.
Try to dice the veggies in similar shapes so they will cook evenly.
Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.
Roast at 450 for 20 minutes and resist eating them straight off the pan.
While the barley cooked and the veggies roasted, I worked on the fresh ingredients I wanted to add to bright the salad and lighten the flavors.
Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, white balsamic and remaining olive oil.
Once the barley has reached a nutty, al dente like consistency, drain it and rinse it in cold water.
Toss the barley in a large mixing bowl and top with the pan of roasted veggies….
Along with the fresh cherry tomatoes and basil.
Pour the dressing over the mix.
Toss gently and serve at once or allow to cool and enjoy as a refreshing summer salad or side.
Thanks everyone for sharing all your thoughts on AL, my fun new Active Link Gadget. I am patiently waiting for my 8 day assessment and then I will share more. It is awesome to hear how much you all love yours. I will be back tomorrow with another recipe I owe you.
Should it be that Homemade Turkey Apple Sausage Recipe of the Blueberry Mini Muffins Recipe?