Roasted vegetable barley salad

By | March 27, 2012

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been in no-food-shopping mode.

With the exception of fresh produce, I just cannot bring myself to buy anything. No flour — we have too much already. No pasta — we’re slowly making our way through our collection. Definitely no more canned foods — it’s all I can do to finish off the ones we already have stored in towers under the sink.

And definitely no grains.

The predicament is a familiar one: With erev Pesach looming, how do you use up all that stuff sitting in your freezer and pantry? Or, more to the point: WHY DID I BUY SO MUCH BARLEY!?

But then I did a quick little search of barley recipes on Smitten Kitchen. And I found this beauty.

And everything was okay again.

My version of this barley salad is a bit more low-maintenance than the one on SK. I left out the olives, red onion, scallions, and fresh mint (not to mention the coriander and cayenne) not because I don’t like those things, but because I didn’t think the dish really needed them.

Briefly sauteing the barley grains in cumin-laced olive oil before cooking is such a great touch. And by the time you throw in roasted eggplant and zucchini, pretty lil’ cherry tomatoes, and a handful of fresh parsley, all it needs is a light but flavorful dressing to tie it all together.

If you’ve got barley lying around, make this for Shabbos. Or for dinner.

Or both. I won’t stop you.


Yiska Ben Avraham on July 3, 2012 at 11:17 am.

This looks great! I’m going to try it, possibly substituting quinoa. 2 ques:

1)If I wanted to put chicken in it or have it as a side dish for chicken, what sort of flavoring would you recommend for the chicken? (nothing requiring too much checking please!)

2) Where do you get broth, or how do you call it in Hebrew so I can ask for it? Or…soup mix in water?

Thanks so much for all your lovely recipes! :)


Tali Simon on July 3, 2012 at 11:37 am.

As a lifelong vegetarian, I’m afraid I can’t be too much help with chicken questions!

For the broth: Yes, I dissolve soup consomme (powder) in water, usually about half a tablespoon of soup mix per cup of water. I’d love to refer you to my homemade veggie stock, but that’s still on my to-do list. Hope to try it and get it up on the blog before too long.


Yiska Ben Avraham on July 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm.

Yay, thanks for the specific directions. And about the chicken, please take my question as a compliment to your food expertise! :)

Does Norene’s Kitchen, by the way, have recipes that are simple and don’t require weird ingredients? I’m trying to like cooking better in order to do more of it, and simple recipes with simple not-tons-of-checking-required ingredients that are healthy are a big incentive.

Thanks for all your help!

P.S. I’m going to try to those gingersnap cookies too this Shabbos…


Tali Simon on July 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm.

Norene’s Healthy Kitchen has lots of recipes that I was able to adapt for the Israeli kitchen, and in general, there are lots of do-able/not potchke/realistic dinner and shabbos menu options.

I know what you mean about the checking. If I buy fresh parsley (which is the herb I buy most often), it’s because I have at least five dishes that I plan to use it in — and because I know it will make a big difference in each of them. Fresh herbs are always better tasting but not always worth the time investment!

Enjoy the cookies. :)


Chaviva on October 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm.

The “investment” is 3 minutes in soapy water, then rinse well. Not too difficult.


Tali Simon on October 5, 2014 at 9:42 pm.

You’re right, but there are definitely days when dealing with herbs feels like an investment! :)


Arielle on January 27, 2013 at 5:50 pm.

I loved this! My husband thought it was “too healthy” but oh well, more for me :)


Bracha on September 11, 2014 at 12:55 pm.

Could I peel the eggplant? Or would they fall apart?


Tali Simon on September 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm.

That should be totally fine. When I leave the peel on, it’s usually just an aesthetics thing.


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