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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.