March 06, 2015

roasted carrots over pearl barley with an herb sauce

Yum

Today was quite the day.  It started off with me checking Facebook and seeing that a lady was selling a parakeet that included a cage, food, toys, mirror, basically anything and everything that a bird could ever want.  The thought came to me... my daughter would love a bird and she has been working so hard at school and so doing well that I should get it for her.  After a quick phone call to the husband, who thought I was half joking/crazy, I met the lady and became a parakeet owner.  Meet Blu (yes, just like in the movie Rio, which by the way if you haven't seen it... you should!).  Of course now my youngest daughter wants one, a girl since Blu is a boy, and my son is convinced that he will get the baby that they will have.  Oh the things I get myself into!  However, seeing their excitement and fascination = priceless!

Believe it or not... I had never had pearl barley before.  Strange considering how easy it is to prepare and how delicious it is!  It reminds me of a larger, nuttier version of rice and could accompany just about anything.  When I went to go buy it I realized how many different grains that I have yet to explore so they have been added to my mental checklist of things to try.

This dish is such a compilation of flavors which go so well together and simple to prepare.  Plus, if you use the rainbow carrots... it's quite pretty!  The sauce can be made earlier in the day and the carrots chopped... I will definitely remember this one for serving guest because it's simple and looks great.  It would also make a delicious side (just half the recipe) with or without the barley, and would go well with a grilled meat or since it's winter I think it would pair perfectly with a pot roast.

Servings 4-6 as a main course
Total Time 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups pearl barley 
  • 2 teaspoon cumin 
  • 2-2 1/2 pounds carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced (2 tablespoons lemon juice) and 1 quartered for serving
  • 1 1/2-2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as sriracha



INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Cook pearl barley according to package directions (hint: a rice cooker does this perfectly and you can just set it and forget it).  Season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.

2.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

3.  Toss carrots with 2 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon cumin in large bowl (or gallon size ziplock). Spread on a greased baking sheet, and roast 30 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Set oven to broil, then broil carrots 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

4.  Meanwhile, combine parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and hot sauce in mini food processor or use an immersion blender. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, remaining 1 teaspoon cumin, and mint. Puree until smooth. 

5.  Serve carrots over barley, drizzled with herb sauce, and lemon wedges on the side.  Enjoy!!!

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