All season favourite: roasted veg and pearl barley
In the middle of the summer heat, even my husband who eats meat agrees with me on craving healthier, vegetarian dishes. (I know, I will never convert him, but at least he’s willing to go semi-vegetarian as he calls it.) But he gets bored of the salad based dishes quickly, so I wanted to make something refreshing but substantial at the same time. I *might* have mentioned it: I love dishes combining vegetables, fruits and cheese at the same time. This recipe is one of them. Plus the pearl barley is an excellent low fat, low cholesterol, good source of fibre and protein, as well as vitamins and minerals. The roasted veggies and the warming harissa spices also make this meal great for the colder weather too.
I’ll be honest, I can’t get enough of it. The spices, the tangy lemon, the refreshing mint combined with the sweetness of the butternut squash and the pomegranate plus the greek yogurt dressing makes this dish an orgy of flavours. Luckily, it’s fairly easy and takes only under an hour to whip this up – but rest assured, if you’re making it for dinner guests, you’ll get plenty of compliments as it’s both looks and tastes just gorgeous!
Here’s the recipe, enjoy!
A lovely, warming but light vegetarian dish, ready under an hour!
- 100 gram pearl barley washed and cooked
- 200 gram cubed butternut squash
- 150 gram chestnut mushrooms cut into quarters
- 2 medium yellow bell peppers sliced
- 1 small aubergine sliced
- 1 large pomegranate's seeds
- 200 gram feta cheese crumbled
- 2 medium lemons
- 200 gram full fat greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp harissa spices
- 1/4 tsp freshly grounded nutmeg
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh mint chopped
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 175C
Place the vegetables in a baking dish and sprinkle with olive oil, harissa spices and ground nutmeg, if you want add some salt and pepper too.
Cook the pearl barley: wash them first, place them into a pan, add cold water and cook until they are al dente. Normally around 30 minutes.
Roast for 20 minutes, then turn them over and roast for another 5 minutes turning up the heat to grill. They should be soft on the inside but golden and crispy looking.
Mix the yogurt with the crushed garlic, 1 tbsp mint and the juice of half a lemon.
Leave the vegetables to cool, then gently mix them with the pearl barley. Toss in the olive oil and the other half of the lemon's juice Add the herbs too along with the feta cheese. When serving, drizzle with some more lemon juice, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and add the greek yogurt dressing.