Moroccan Barley and Roasted Vegetable Salad

ShareBarley is one of my favorite grains to cook. It is not only one of the healthiest grains, but I love that it gives an immediate warmth and comfort factor to a recipe. The nutty, earthy taste pairs so well with meat, fish, chicken and even vegetables as I have used this this case.
If I have to write all about the health benefits of barley I will have to devote an entire post about that and let us not forget, this is a recipe blog, not a health blog. However it is necessary that we look at this versatile grain a little closer.
Barley is a cereal grain derived from the annual grass Hordeam vulgare. It has many uses, but here in South Africa it is mainly used for the making of beer, other distilled beverages and smaller quantities are used for animal and human consumption. The barley malting industry is very important in South Africa’s economy. It  plays a crucial role in the crop rotation systems used by farmers. Barley is grown on many farms predominantly in the South Western Cape, with its Mediterranean climate.
Barley’s appearance is similar to that of wheat although it is slightly lighter in color. Barley is a very good source of fiber and selenium, and a good source of phosphorus, copper and manganese.As far as health benefits go, here is a list of health issues that can be addressed by just adding this nutritious and delicious grain to your diet regularly.

  • -improve regularity
  • -lower cholesterol
  • -provides numerous protective actions against cardiovascular risk factors
  • -reduces high blood pressure
  • -reduces risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • -reduces risk of breast cancer
  • -asthma, gallstones etc.

So, as you can see, adding a handful of barley to your pot of soup of stew, not only adds to the taste factor of your recipe, but it is also extremely good for you.
When I saw this recipe for  a Vegetable and Barley dish on my blogging friend over at Mint Tea & Tagine, I knew it was something that I had to try and make. I tweaked a bit and chopped and changed the vegetables  to what I had available and also served mine as a “salad” with a delicious piece of grilled chicken.
Let’s cook!

Moroccan Barley and Vegetable Salad


1 packet of barley – cooked to packet instructions

I roasted the following vegetables

courgettes – sliced
eggplant – cut into thin strips
1 large red onion  – sliced
butternut – cut into blocks
red, green and yellow peppers – cut into chunks
mush rooms – halved
olive oil

Sprinkle with  the oil and then with the following spices:
1/2 tsp of ground pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, fine ginger and dried thyme and oregano. Roast in a moderate oven until cooked.

Mix with the cooked barley and add some more olive oil, a splash of  Verlaque Fruit Infused Balsamic Reduction, a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped fresh coriander.

Serve this as a wholesome vegetarian meal or as a side dish to grilled fish, chicken or lamb!

Other salads that can be served as a main meal: