Barley and Roasted Vegetable Salad

We brought this salad to a party, it sounded pretty hearty and would be appreciated by vegetarians and meat-eaters alike: who doesn’t like roasted veggies? The original recipe, from Cooking Light, features eggplant and yellow squash, which we nixed and substituted asparagus and winter squash. The combination was fantastic, the only slight mis-step perhaps was replacing the original’s feta (which we didn’t have on-hand) with mozzarella (which we did): the dish seemed like it needed some extra seasoning that the salty, bold feta would have provided.

Chris says:

Oh asparagus, how I’ve missed you…

Lisa says:

What the heck are you doing?

Chris says:

What do you mean?

Lisa says:

You’re looking way too lovingly at that bowl of barley.

Chris says:

What can I say? You did a great job on this. Really tasty and filling.

Lisa says:

Don’t forget “healthy”… I still think we should have picked up some feta.

Chris says:

Totally agree — I just didn’t want to waste the cheese we already had

Lisa says:

You shouldn’t have worried… you know that would have gotten eaten…

Chris says:

True! Well, like I said, I liked it anyway.

Lisa says:

I did too… just add more salt if you’re not going to use feta!

Barley and Roasted Vegetable Salad
1 1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
2 red bell peppers, cut into wedges
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
Cooking spray
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 medium winter squash, halved lengthwise
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tsp grated orange rind
3 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, torn

Preheat oven to 400°.
To prepare salad, cook pearl barley according to package directions. (Generally, add 3x as much water as barley, bring to a boil, and cook ~45 minutes, or until tender). Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Spoon barley into large bowl.

Place peppers and asparagus on one shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray; place zucchini and squash in another shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray. Coat vegetables with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Place pan with squash on top rack in the oven and pan with asparagus on middle rack. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until squash and zucchini are tender. Remove pan with squash, and move pan with asparagus to top rack. Bake peppers and asparagus an additional 8 minutes or until tender. Cool. Cut vegetables into 1/2-inch pieces. Add vegetables, parsley, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) to barley; toss gently.

To prepare dressing, combine vinegar, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add dressing to barley mixture; toss. Top with cheese.

8 1-1/2 cup servings

11 responses to “Barley and Roasted Vegetable Salad”

  1. CG — I really, really liked the winter squash in it (the sweetness of it was a nice differentiator from the other veggies), but Lisa didn’t like it as much. Yes, feta’s betta!

  2. What a beautiful meal! They say you should eat lots of colors! I don’t know who “they” are, but I think they’d approve of your meal!

  3. Hmmm – I had to make quite a few substitutions. First brown rice (because I was too lazy to find barley in the store), pumpkins instead of squash (because pumpkins are popular in NZ), and brocoli (because I had extra). But it was yummy good! Next time I’m grilling the veggies.

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