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Barley Bowl with Spiced Aubergine, Chickpeas and Tomatoes

Barley Bowl

Barley is a much underrated grain. It grows well in the UK, it’s easy to cook, has a nice nutty flavour and is highly nutritious. Traditionally, it’s used in soups, but I’ve been using it more and more these days as the main grain in our meals. This vegan barley bowl is a simple meal of whole grain barley topped with a combination of spiced aubergine, chickpeas and tomatoes.

I was wondering what to do with the aubergine I received in my Spanish fruit and veg box. My first thought was to make the aubergine dip that turned me into being a bit iffy about aubergines to actually liking them. Then I spotted a Mary Berry recipe for Middle Eastern aubergine and chickpea salad and decided I could adapt it to make something similar, but as a main meal and a warm dish rather than a cold one.

It all panned out very nicely and I enjoyed the aubergine part just as much as the rest. The different flavours and textures worked really well with the barley. CT said it was so good, he thought we should have it again and soon. Served warm rather than hot and with seasonal ingredients, this barley bowl would make a lovely summer meal, ideal for eating in the garden.

Barley Bowl with Spiced Aubergines, Chickpeas and Tomatoes
Serves 2
Roasted aubergines, chickpeas and tomatoes flavoured with Middle Eastern spices and dressed with flaxseed oil and lemon juice. All served on a bed of cooked barley.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large aubergine
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 3 tsp za'atar
  4. 4 tomatoes quartered
  5. 1 tin of chickpeas - drained and rinsed
  6. 100g whole grain barley or grain of choice to serve
Dressing
  1. 2 tbsp flaxseed oil or cold-pressed olive oil
  2. ½ tsp tamari or soy sauce of choice
  3. ½ organic lemon - juice and zest
  4. 1 garlic clove
  5. 12 chive leaves - finely snipped
Instructions
  1. Rinse the pearl barley well and cover with water to about twice the depth of the barley. Bring to the boil in a well sealed pan and simmer for about 25 minutes or until tender and the water has been absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the aubergine into chunky chip sized pieces.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large baking tray in a hot oven, 200℃. Throw in the aubergine chips and toss to coat in the oil. Sprinkle on 2 tsp of the Za'atar and toss again. Return to the oven and roast for about 20 minutes until they're just tender.
  4. Push the aubergine pieces to one side and add the tomatoes. Sprinkle on the remaining tsp of za'aatar and roast for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Push the tomatoes to one side and add the chickpeas. Swirl around on the hot tray to coat in any juices and roast for another minute to warm the chickpeas up.
  6. Place all of the dressing ingredients into a large bowl and whisk.
  7. Add the chickpeas and stir so they absorb some of the dressing.
  8. Divide the barley between two bowls. Add the aubergines and tomatoes, then spoon on the chickpeas with any remaining dressing.
Adapted from Foolproof Cooking by Mary Berry
Adapted from Foolproof Cooking by Mary Berry
Tin and Thyme http://tinandthyme.uk/
Meat Free MondaysI’m sending this barley bowl off to Jac at Tinned Tomatoes for Meat Free Mondays

 

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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Nicky
    20th April 2016

    I’ve never thought about using barley as a main starch for a meal. Fab idea, I might even try barley risotto too. Thanks for opening my eyes!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd April 2016

      It’s delicious Kate and I’m really pleased to find barley has not been forgotten as much as I thought it had.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Sarah, Maison Cupcake
    20th April 2016

    This is totally kind of thing I’d eat for dinner. I have been eating lots of brown rice recently but some barley would make a change!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd April 2016

      Brown rice has been my staple from childhood, so it was very exciting when I was introduced to quinoa about 20 years ago. Why I haven’t used barley until recently, I don’t really know.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Kate - gluten free alchemist
    20th April 2016

    Sadly we can’t eat barley….. Shame…. I used to love it. But the Aubergine, chickpeas and tomatoes sound lovely with the rice….. guess the barley can be missed for us?!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd April 2016

      Sadly, there’s not much you can do about barley Kate, but thank goodness for rice and quinoa.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd April 2016

      Hello Vohn, it’s lovely to hear from you. And good to hear barley is such an appreciated grain in your home.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Kyra
    21st April 2016

    I agree that barley is underrated, in fact I haven’t used it myself lately…you’ve inspired me to add barley to my shopping list to cook with next week! This dish sounds sooo good <3

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd April 2016

      Oh thank you Kyra. If I’ve inspired anyone to do anything, it does make my day rosier. Hope you like it.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd April 2016

      You’re welcome Kate and thank you. This will certainly be appearing on our table again.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Chris @thinlyspread
    21st April 2016

    I haven’t cooked with barley for ages, you’ve inspired me! I’m so glad you have discovered the loveliness of the aubergine!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd April 2016

      Yes, it’s taken a long time with the aubergine, but I got there in the end. Barley is lovely too.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Natalie Tamara
    22nd April 2016

    I love the look of this! Barley makes such a good alternative to rice or quinoa, for a change. I’ve actually had a bag sat in my cupboard for a while and should dig it out this weekend to give this a go!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd April 2016

      Oh, let me know if you do make it Natalie. It’s always good to ring the changes and barley really is very good.

  7. Leave a Reply

    Laura @ KneadWhine
    24th April 2016

    I’ve bought some pearl barley after a really nice salad I had at a National Trust cafe recently – but haven’t quite managed to do anything with it. This looks like a great way to make use of it – I love aubergine!

  8. Leave a Reply

    Margaret Gallagher
    24th April 2016

    Wow this looks so yummy and wholesome and nutritious usually make soups with my barley but going to give this a go thanks

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      25th April 2016

      Thanks Margaret. Do let me know what you think. It’s a nice combination and we really enjoyed it and I will be making it again for sure.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      29th April 2016

      I find it’s just really nice to ring the changes and barley has quite a different flavour and texture to other grains.

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