Hearty baked dishes don’t always have to be pasta and rice-heavy. Try a beautiful nutritional change by using cheap and filling pearl barley instead. Serve with a green salad as a main course or as a side to steak or chicken.
- Recipe by Christie Connelly
- Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side
- Prep Time 10 minutes
- Cooking Time 80 minutes
- 190g (1 cup) pearl barley
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or sunflower oil)
- 1 small leek, green and white parts finely sliced
- 1 small green capsicum, finely diced
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 350g swiss brown or button mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (or grated parmesan cheese if not vegan)
- White Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 2 tablespoons dairy free spread (or butter)
- 500ml Vitasoy Soy Milky Regular*
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- pinch of white pepper
*Any soymilk in the Vitasoy range can be used
- Rinse the pearl barley in a sieve under running water until the outer starch comes off. Place into a large saucepan and fill with cold tap water to cover the barley with a good 5 cm of water. Boil over high heat for 20-30 minutes until just tender. Taste a few grains to check they are bite-tender. Drain and place into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan and add the leek and capsicum and sauté over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Then add the carrot and garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until browned and wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and a splash of water and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until tomatoes are softened, then mash roughly into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the vegetables into the bowl with the barley and mix to combine. Heat the oven to 180C.
- Make the white sauce. Melt the spread or butter in a small saucepan. Add the cornflour and quickly whisk to form a smooth paste. Gradually pour in the soymilk, constantly whisking, for 5 minutes or so until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the mustard and white pepper.
- Pour the white sauce into the bowl with the barley and vegetables and mix to combine. Then pour into a 2L, ovenproof casserole dish and sprinkle with nutritional yeast or parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes until piping hot and browned.