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Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad

1 1/2 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3/4 lb zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

10 TBS olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 cup chopped scallion (from 1 bunch)

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 1/4 cups pearl barley (8 oz)

1 3/4 cups (14oz) chicken or vegetable broth

3/4 cup water

2 TBS fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 tsp sugar

1/2 lb cherry tomatoe, quartered

1/3 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and halved

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and drained if desired

1 cup chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

1 1/2 lb piece ricotta salata cheese, cut into thin slices

 

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss eggplant and zucchini with 5 TBS oil, 3/4 tsp salt, and 3/4 tsp pepper in a bowl, then spread in 2 oiled large shallow (1-inch deep) baking pans.  Roast vegeatbles 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 cooking barley.

Heat 2 TBS 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, stiring 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.

Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, sugar and remaining 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 3 TBS 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.

Recipe from "Gourmet" magazine (R.I.P)


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