Monday, September 04, 2017

Grilled Vegetable and Barley Salad

Early September is an exciting, exhausting, time to have a garden - the tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, and eggplant are all going crazy, and it seems like you can't eat them fast enough! If you find yourself with a few spare zucchini, eggplant, and peppers this week, I highly recommend roughly chopping the lot up, tossing with olive oil, salt, and pepper, grilling up the lot, and making this salad! It's a hearty, nutritious way to use up some of that late-summer produce.  Enjoy!

YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

  • 1/2 c pearl barley
  • 1/4 c + 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 c freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red chile, minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 2 small zucchini, halved and sliced into half-moons
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz feta, crumbled
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 c parsley leaves
  • 1 c cilantro leaves
  • 4-8 oz arugula
  • 1/2 c shelled, roasted, salted pistachios

  1. Make the marinaded barley: bring a small saucepan of water to a boil.  Add the barley and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain, and toss with the 1/4 c olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, garlic, chile, salt, and pepper.  Cool.
  2. Make the grilled vegetables: toss the eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil; add salt and pepper to taste.  Grill or broil until the veggies are tender and lightly charred; cool.
  3. Pack the salads: divide the barley evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer in the roasted veggies, feta, green onion, parsley, cilantro, and arugula.  Divide the pistachios evenly between 4 2-oz jars or snack-size zip-top bags, one for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with pistachios.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use frozen, pre-cooked brown rice in place of the barley.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian as-is.  For a vegan salad, substitute your favorite vegan feta for the dairy feta.  For a gluten-free salad, substitute cooked, cooled quinoa or brown rice for the barley.  For a nut-free salad, substitute toasted, salted sunflower seeds for the pistachios.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

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