By Tali Simon | July 22, 2013
The Kosher Connection turns 1 this month, and to mark the occasion, we’re all making each other’s recipes. Well, basically. What I really mean is that we each got paired up with another kosher blog, and our mission for this month’s linkup was to cook something from that blog. We were told to try to keep the original recipe intact.
I tried, promise!
I was matched up with Yosefa at Cooking Outside the Box, who says she really doesn’t follow recipes — she chooses ingredients based on what she has on hand, and adds spices as needed. So when I came across her post on barley casserole with mallows, tomato, and basil, naturally, there was no exact recipe. She gave a basic explanation of what she did to create the dish, but there wasn’t an ingredient list with set amounts or a suggested oven temperature and cooking time.
I figured that gave me the green light to stray a bit from the original. And what you have here is my version of the dish, inspired by Yosefa’s flavor combination.
Whole-grain barley makes a healthy casserole base, and finely chopped spinach and basil add a burst of freshness. With the tomatoes and cheeses, the dish is somewhat reminiscent of pizza — and with a taste like that, you won’t have any trouble polishing it off.
If you’re not familiar with Cooking Outside the Box, stop by and show it some love!
* Scroll down to check out the other recipes in this month’s linkup, and scroll alllll the way down the enter the giveaway for two prizes from Emile Henry! *
One year ago: Sesame thai noodles
Previously, in the Kosher Connection:
- July 2012 (Frozen Desserts): Ice Cream Caramel Bonbons
- August 2012 (Grilled Foods): Inside-Out Grilled Cheese with Mushrooms
- September 2012 (Honey): Honey Soy Sauce Dressing
- October 2012 (Root Vegetables): Carrot Raisin Quick Bread
- November 2012 (Stuffing, Etc.): Barley & Pecan Stuffed Zucchini
- January 2013 (Mini Foods): Cheesy Spinach Cups
- February 2013 (Mishloach Manot Items): Chocolate Candy Hamentaschen
- March 2013 (Pesach Desserts): Chocolate Amaretto Truffles
- May 2013 (Croutons): Almond-Crusted Gvina Tsfatit Croutons
- June 2013 (Cold Soups): Chilled Minted Pea Soup
Inspired by Cooking Outside the Box
Yield: One 9×13 casserole
- 5½ cups water
- 1½ cups barley (whole or pearl)
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 dozen cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tsp salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 1 egg
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Bring water to a boil. Add barley and cook 35-40 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed and the barley is tender (taste it). Drain off any excess water. Stir tomato paste into the barley and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
3. Finely chop the garlic, spinach, and basil. This takes seconds in a food processor (fitted with the knife blade), but be careful not to over-pulse or you’ll end up with pesto.
4. Add garlic/spinach/basil, tomatoes, salt, and pepper to the barley and stir to evenly distribute. Add egg and cottage cheese and mix well once more.
5. Spoon the barley mixture into the prepared dish and even out the surface. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 40 minutes. Serve hot (or snack on it cold).
And now for that giveaway…
We are giving away two prizes from Emile Henry: a bread cloche valued at $130 and a 4.2 qt-dutch oven valued at $170! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter! Two winners will be chosen at random. Fine Print: Contest winners will be contacted via email. They will have 48 hours to respond before other winners are chosen. This contest is open to United States residents over the age of 18. Contest closes July 29. a Rafflecopter giveaway