Tag Archives: barley

Barley, corn, and roasted red pepper salad

The combination of red pepper and corn equals summer to me. Something about the smooth versus crisp, yellow versus red, sweet and warm versus cool and starchy makes me nostalgic for grilled hamburgers, fire pits, late nights out in the yard and Sunday afternoon lazy get-togethers.

I had barley in my pantry and a hankering for summer, and this is what Google led me to. (Yes, I was inspired by a pregnancy website, but I am not at all pregnant!)  I left out the tomatoes- they’ll have to wait until August.  This will be even better with fresh sweet corn off the cob!

My favorite part of this recipe is the versatility. I scooped it up and inhaled it warm off the stove, picked at it while it was cooling on the counter, and ate it like unashamedly by the bowlful straight out of the fridge.  Warm or cool, this salad is an easy crowd-pleaser.

Barley, corn, and roasted red pepper salad
adapted from What to Expect

Serves 4

*If you’re short on time, you can skip toasting the barley, but the toasting process does really add to the flavor and texture of the dish. Don’t skip if you can help it.

1 medium red bell pepper
1 c. pearl barley
2-1/2 c. chicken broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup sliced scallions or diced onion
2 Tbsp lime or lemon juice

First, roast the bell pepper.  Using fire-proof tongs or a long kitchen fork, place bell pepper over a gas flame, or place in an baking dish under a high broiler, and turn until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag or in a covered bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and dice.

While cooling and prepping the red pepper, toast the barley in a large skillet for about 10 minutes on medium-high, shaking the pan often. Add broth to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 30 minutes or until broth is almost absorbed and barley is tender. Add in oil, diced onion and corn kernels; stir and sautee for 10 minutes.

Once onion is translucent and corn is cooked, fold in the diced red pepper and remove from heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes at room temperature, then toss with lime or lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or cool.

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Filed under Clean Eating, Side dishes, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian

Summer Barley Soup

While I was prepping and cooking this soup, I sang over and over, “Orange and greens, barley and beans, orange and greens, barley and beans…”

This could easily be a fall or winter soup by using canned or frozen veggies, but because these were all fresh from my garden, I like to think of it as a summer soup. Add a leafy green and it’s definitely a summer soup. So there.  I was in need of an easy lunch recipe that would fill me up, and there’s nothing much easier than warming up a bowl of soup.

I love this sort of recipe because it makes use of whatever you’ve got in your pantry and produce drawer.  You can chop up a tomato instead of using tomato paste. If you don’t have barley, brown rice or buckwheat would be good substitutes. Use a mix of fresh herbs from the garden or market. Any sort of bean– pinto, kidney, northern, canellini, even black bean– would work here.  However, I recommend sticking with red lentils and not subbing in green lentils– the red ones are smaller, and when cooked in this soup sort of fall apart and help to thicken it.

Summer Barley Soup

1 c. dry beans or 1 can beans, any variety
1 c. uncooked barley
3 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1 c. dry red lentils
1 T. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 c. sliced carrots
2 T. Italian seasoning (or a mixture of thyme, rosemary, oregano, and sage)
2 T. tomato paste
1 1/2 c. peas
1 1/2 c. green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces

If using dry beans, set the beans to soak in 2 cups water overnight, or in a crockpot for 2-3 hours; do not drain the water. If using canned beans, rinse and drain.

In a large pot on medium-high, bring the 3 cups of stock to a boil; add barley and simmer for 30 minutes. Rinse the lentils, then add to the pot. Stir occasionally while simmering.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add carrots and garlic; stir and saute for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and seasoning and stir into carrots mixture; carefully mix in peas and green beans and saute for another 5 minutes.

Once lentils and soft, add the vegetable mixture and beans. (If used dry beans, add the retained soaking water; if canned, add an additional cup of stock or water.) Simmer for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on how soft you want your veggies. I like to serve with bread- homemade pita shown above- or a fresh salad.

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Filed under Clean Eating, Soups, Summer, Vegetables, Vegetarian