Chewy,nutty pearl barley stars in this hearty bowl dish |
Food & Drink

Chewy,nutty pearl barley stars in this hearty bowl dish

America’s Test Kitchen via AP
The recipe for Barley Bowl with Roasted Carrots and Snow Peas appears in the cookbook “Vegan for Everybody.”
America’s Test Kitchen via AP
“Vegan for Everybody”

Chewy, nutty, pearl barley isn’t just for soups. Here, we’ve made it the star of a hearty bowl that’s full of contrasting — and surprising — textures and Middle Eastern flavors, with its warm spices and colorful vegetables.

To keep the cooking method easy, we simply boiled the barley. This made the individual grains tender and kept them distinct and light. We tossed the warm barley with a bright lemon-mint dressing so the grains would readily soak it up.

While the barley cooked, we pan-roasted coriander-dusted spears of carrots until charred, sweet and tender. We then threw in crisp snow peas and cooked them until just blistered, so they would retain their green freshness.

Toasting sunflower seeds with cumin, cardamom and a little more coriander gave the dish a warm, aromatic finish. We piled a mound of the dressed barley and vegetables into our bowls, followed by our crunchy seed topping.

Finally, to pull all the components of the bowl together, we needed a drizzle of sauce, and our Tahini Sauce was a creamy, zesty addition. Do not substitute hulled barley or hull-less barley in this recipe.

If using quick-cooking or pre-steamed barley (read the ingredient list on the package to determine this), you will need to decrease the barley cooking time. We also like this bowl topped with avocado.

Barley Bowl with Roasted Carrots and Snow Peas

Servings: 4-6

Start to finish: 1 hour, 10 minutes


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons minced fresh mint

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons juice

1 ½ cups pearl barley

Salt and pepper

5 carrots, peeled

¾ teaspoon ground coriander

8 ounces snow peas, strings removed, halved lengthwise

⅔ cup raw sunflower seeds

½ teaspoon ground cumin

⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ cup Tahini Sauce (recipe follows)


Whisk 2 ½ tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons mint and lemon zest and juice together in large bowl, set aside. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add barley and 1 tablespoon salt, return to boil, and cook until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. Drain barley, transfer to bowl with lemon-mint mixture and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cover to keep warm.

While barley cooks, halve carrots crosswise, then halve or quarter lengthwise to create uniformly sized pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add carrots and ½ teaspoon coriander and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in snow peas and cook until spotty brown, 3 to 5 minutes; transfer to second bowl.

Heat remaining 1 ½ teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add sunflower seeds, cumin, cardamom, remaining ¼ teaspoon coriander, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until seeds are toasted, about 2 minutes; transfer to third bowl.

Divide barley among individual bowls, then top with carrot-snow pea mixture and sunflower seeds. Drizzle with tahini sauce, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon mint, and serve.

Tahini Sauce:

Makes about 1 ¼ cups

½ cup tahini

½ cup water

¼ cup lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced


Whisk tahini, water, lemon juice, and garlic in bowl until smooth. Season with salt to taste. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature and stir to combine before serving.)

Nutrition information per serving: 513 calories; 262 calories from fat; 29 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 242 mg sodium; 55 g carbohydrate; 13 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 13 g protein.

Categories: Lifestyles | Food Drink
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.