Roasted Bell Pepper Pearled Barley
Barley used to be poor people food during the Medieval times. It's also the food that feeds horses but if it's well-cooked and tender, it's a very healthy meal full of fibers. The texture is chewy and you can add a lot of spices to make it flavorful.
The cooking process is similar to cooking risottos but I added a can of diced tomatoes to make the barley more tender.
Yields: 41/2 cup red roasted bell pepper, cubed
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup baby carrots, sliced
1 10 oz diced tomato can
2 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup pearl barley
2 Tbs curly parlsey, finely chopped
1 chunk parmesan, freshly shaved
1 drizzle truffle oil
Roasting bell peppers is very easy. Once you know how to make them yourself, you'll never buy the ones in a jar again. To start with, cut the stem off the pepper. Wash it, pat it dry, then brush the bell pepper with oil. Grill the bell pepper directly on your stove, charring all the outer skin. Don't burn your hands! Once the bell pepper is black all the way around, remove from the stove and wrap it in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Wash the bell pepper under running tap water; the skin will come right off. Cut the bell pepper in half. Seed it, then dice it.
Add the pearl barley. The oil should coat all the grains. Pour 1 1/2 cup of broth and stir constantly.
After bringing the liquid to a boil, add garlic powder then lower the heat to medium low for about 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and add the sliced baby carrots. Check the liquid and periodically add 1/4 cup of stock when all the liquid is absorbed. Let simmer for another 20 minutes.
When grains are almost cooked, add the diced roasted bell peppers. Cook for another 5 minutes on low heat. Adjust seasonning with salt and pepper.
Garnish with parsley. Drizzle some truffle oil and sprinkle some shaved parmesan on top before serving.
I served it as a first course in little butter lettuce leaves, but you can also serve it as a side dish with grilled chicken or marinated tofu cubes.
Pearl barley is a grain that has been processed and had its though inedible outer shell removed.
Roasted bell peppers can be made in advance. Once it's roasted and you clean off the burnt skin, slice in long strips. Sprinkle some fleur de sel. Place the strips in a jar and fill with a quality olive oil. Store in the refrigerator and keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Published By: on February 16, 2009.