• Ready Time : 0 min



  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 4 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2'' slices
  • about 6 zucchini, 1/2'' coins
  • olive oil + lemon pepper for cooking
  • 2 cups baby tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • grated parmesan, as desired
  • sea salt, as needed


Serves 8

I used pearled barley because I had a loose bag that I wanted to use up. You could use quinoa, farro, bulgar, rice etc., you just need about 2 1/2-3 cups cooked of whichever you choose. If you like some kick, a few pinches of red pepper flakes would work nicely here.

Rinse the barley. Put it in a pot with about 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil then down to a simmer, add a few pinches of salt and cook for about 25-30 minutes until tender. Drain any excess water and transfer the grains to a big mixing bowl. Add the minced garlic and a pinch of salt while the grains are still hot, and stir. Add the oil, vinegar and agave and stir to coat. Set aside.

Heat a hearty drizzle of olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat (you can alternatively grill the eggplant and zucchini). Add the zucchini and a generous sprinkle of lemon pepper and saute until well charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the barley bowl. Rub lemon pepper or similar seasoning on all sides of the eggplant. Sear the eggplants in the pan, this will have to be done in two batches. I like to cook both sides with a bunch of seasonings until the eggplant starts to soften and then add a drizzle of oil. Turns out a bit less greasy this way. Let the eggplant cool slightly. Chop it into 2” chunks and add it to the barley bowl. Add the halved tomatoes, basil, parsley and toss everything to mix. Taste for salt (remember you’re adding parm so go easy) and pepper and maybe a bit more vinegar if you prefer.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Generously sprinkle the grated parmesan on top and another pinch of fresh herbs and fresh pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Keeps well in the fridge for about five days.

Source: Sprouted Kitchen

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