barley orzo salad with roasted tomatoes

sometimes i feel like the best dinner doesn’t come in three to five plus courses, but in one single bowl, served ‘family-style’ in the bowl, with salad servers. not necessarily in front of the tv, but, you know, that might happen sometimes, too.

this dish was made in a hungry moment. i didn’t shop for anything in particular beforehand. i had a few healthy veggies at home, and the occasional grains and things in my pantry, as always. i combined what was at hand – and the result was such a fragrant and lavish dish, it’s hard to believe it’s actually healthy, too. it’s like a miracle salad (and you know i do strongly believe that the best salads are not made of boring green leaves but a combination of tepid grains).

i cooked three ‘grains’ (one actually being a pasta) separately to start with: barley (the main ingredient), buckwheat (only a little, for the nutty fragrance) and orzo (that actually being rize-shaped pasta, i love to use that in a combination with other grains, it adds a little more substance – and carbs, no less). in the meantime, i slowly roasted a few differently colored cherry tomatoes on low temperature, with garlic and best olive oil. easily one of my favorite salads i ever made. sometimes, a rush of inspiration, driven by hunger of the moment, really is the best cook.

barley orzo salad with roasted tomatoes
ingredients:
1 cup barley
1 cup orzo
1/2 cup buckwheat, all cooked (separately) according to directions
500 g green coco beans, quickly blanched in salty water, drained, cooled and sliced diagonally
handful of differently colored cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil
2 pinches maldon sea salt
salt for cooking

for the lemon dressing:
3 tbsp. argan oil
1 tsp. best truffle oil or walnut oil (for a more intense nutty flavor)
1 lemon, juice
1tsp. acacia honey
1 knife point harissa
pinch maldon sea salt, plus more for serving
fresh basil leaves, to decorate

cook the grains according to directions on the packaging. blanch, drain, cool and then slice the coco beans. in the meantime (or in advance) roast the halved cherry tomatoes with sprinkles of olive oil, the garlic and a generous pinch of sea salt in the oven at a low temperature for up to one hour.

combine the (tepid) barley, orzo and buckwheat, and sprinkle with some more olive oil, so it doesn’t dry out and stick together. add the hot tomatoes and the been slices on top. make the lemon dressing with all the ingredients, and pour it over the grains-vegetable mixture. sprinkle the chopped basil and some more flaky maldon sea salt (i’ve really grown to love that salt…) on top, and serve, tepid, family style. love served.

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