Cooking barley is as easy as cooking rice, and the hearty flavors in this vegetarian (and vegan!) bowl are an excellent reason to eat this healthful, satisfying grain more often. The recipe is easy to vary according to whatever fresh produce is in season. Use a variety of flavors, textures and shapes for the most satisfying bowl.
Roasted Vegetable, Tofu and Barley Bowl
- 2 lb. (1 kg) assorted baby beets, rinsed and tops trimmed to 1/2 inch (12 mm)
- 4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) plus 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. (500 g) broccoli rabe, trimmed
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 4 radishes, trimmed
- 2 large carrots, trimmed
- 1 block (14 oz./440 g) firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut crosswise into 8 slices
- 8 tsp. harissa, plus more for serving
- 3 1/2 cups (5 1/2 oz./160 g) cooked pearl barley
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) shelled fresh peas, blanched, or frozen peas, thawed
1. Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).
2. Place the beets in a shallow baking dish, drizzle with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and toss to coat. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the beets are tender when pierced with knife, about 40 minutes. Do not turn off the oven. Place the dish on a wire rack, uncover and let cool, then peel off the skins. Halve or quarter the beets and season with salt.
3. On a baking sheet, toss the broccoli rabe and garlic with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and season with salt and the red pepper flakes. Spread in one layer and bake until the broccoli rabe is bright green and the stems are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 10 minutes. Discard the garlic. Cover the baking sheet lightly with foil to keep warm.
4. Using a mandoline or a vegetable peeler, cut the radishes and carrots lengthwise into thin slices. Place the radishes on a plate and set aside. In a large nonstick fry pan over medium heat, warm the 2 tsp. olive oil with 1 Tbs. of water. Add the carrots and season lightly with salt. Cook, covered, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the radishes and set aside. Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel.
5. Warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the tofu without crowding and cook, turning once, until golden on the outside and heated through, 4 to 6 minutes total. Spread about 1 tsp. harissa over each slice.
6. Divide the barley and peas among 4 wide, shallow bowls. Arrange the beets, broccoli rabe, radishes, carrots and tofu slices over the top and serve, passing extra harissa at the table.
Couples will find inspiring ideas for everything from weeknight suppers to Saturday dinner parties in our Newlywed Cookbook.