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Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad

Posted By Chris On April 12, 2010 @ 10:54 pm In Main Dishes,Mediterranean,Salads and Light Soups,Vegetarian | 5 Comments

I find myself turning to epicurious more and more often when I have something sitting in the fridge that I just don’t feel inspired by. We had an eggplant from our CSA box hanging out for a few days, and a few minutes at epicurious turned up this recipe from Gourmet Magazine a couple years back. Eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms are oven roasted and then tossed with barley cooked in stock, green onions, and spices, cooled, and tossed with a lemon vinaigrette. Delicious!

Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad
1 1/2 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2″ cubes
3/4 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2″ cubes
6 oz cremini mushrooms
10 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 1/4 cups pearl barley (8 oz)
1 14-oz can reduced-sodium chicken broth (1 3/4 cups)
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and drained if desired
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.

Cook barley:
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot, then cook green onions, cumin, coriander, and cayenne, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add barley and cook, stirring until well coated with oil, 2 minutes more. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.

Roast eggplant and zucchini:
Meanwhile, toss eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms with 5 tablespoons oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then spread in 2 oiled large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pans. Roast vegetables in oven, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes total. Combine vegetables in 1 pan and cool, reserving other pan for cooling barley.

Transfer the barley to reserved shallow baking pan and spread to quickly cool, uncovered, to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Make dressing and assemble salad:
Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add barley, roasted vegetables, and remaining ingredients to bowl with dressing and toss until combined well. Eat, eat, eat.

4 Main-dish Servings

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