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12 August 2010

A healthy recipe just for you- Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad

So Potluck at the river was yesterday and I made some kick ass salad for it. I thought it was delicious with a nice spicy, sweet, roasty taste. Yum!! I think some people loved it and others were anti-olive. Crazy bitches! I LOVE olives! The recipe is below with my notes to the ingredients in italics. The actual method of cooking really didn't need any changing, but please note that you should make sure your veggies are well salted and oiled when they go on the pans, other wise they will stick as mine did. Oh well. The salad still taste delicious and makes a TON! Hope you like it.

Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad
Adapted from Gourmet, September 2006

It says it makes 4 main course dishes, but I think it makes more than that

1 1/2 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (Use 2 eggplant)
3/4 lb zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (Use 2 or 3 Zucchini)
10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chopped scallion
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (I used a full tsp which gave it a lot of bite)
1 1/4 cups pearl barley (8 oz) (I used fine barley, don't use the regular Quaker barley)
1 (14-oz) can reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (1 3/4 cups)
3/4 cup water( I had to use about 1/4 cup more water because the liquid was almost gone and the barley wasn't soft enough)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 juicy lemon)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, quartered (I used 1/2 a can of drained, diced tomatoes)
1/3 cup Kalamata, pitted and halved
1/2 cup thinly sliced red or white onion
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I omitted)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
Optional - Feta

Roast eggplant and zucchini: Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.

Toss eggplant and zucchini 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.

Cook barley: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook scallion, 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. Transfer 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. Serve with cheese slices.

Do ahead: Salad can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Return to room temperature before serving.

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