Inspired by this recipe, I realized that I was out of pearl barley, which was the grain called for. I subbed faro for it instead, and the results were excellent.
Roasted vegetable and faro salad (made nondairy by me – I used grated soy mozzarella instead of goat feta cheese)
1 1/2 pounds eggplant, diced
4 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 1/4 cups faro
3 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated soy mozzarella, or soy feta
arugula or baby spinach leaves, a few handfuls
Put rack in middle of oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.
Toss eggplant, tomatoes, and bell pepper with 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast veggies until eggplant is golden brown and tender and tomatoes are shriveled, stirring halfway through, about 25 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3 – 4 quart heavy pot over moderately high heat. Add the onion and cook til softened. Add the cumin, coriander, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add faro and cook, stirring until well coated with oil for 1 minute more. Add water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of the liquid is absorbed and faro is tender, 30 – 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for about 5 minutes. Transfer barley to baking pan with roasted vegetables and spread to cool, about 20 minutes.
Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, honey, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil. Pour over the faro and veggies, along with the basil and cheese. Mix together, and transfer to a serving bowl or platter. (Arrange some arugula or spinach leaves on the platter before piling on the faro mixture). Makes 6 servings.
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