Vegetarian Barley Toss

Taste the rainbow?


Wait, don’t sue me!

Actually, let me try to come up with my own new colorful, healthy slogan, eh!? Okay, here goes:

“Taste all that color, chach mcgrach.” Ehhh, boring.

“It’s like eating crayons, but not as waxy.” Why do I kind of like that?

barley1-2  barley2-2

“Because sweating in Hypercolor is sexy.” What? No.

Oh wait, wait, I got it!

“You smell like a rainbow.” Okay maybe not.

barley3-2  barley4-2


“Remember the rainbow you just ate? That was awesome.” I give that a 6.

“I feel like rainbows tonight! Like rainbows tonight! LIKE RAINBOWS TONIGHT.” We’re getting there.

“Hold me closer, tiny paint stooooore.” Okay that has nothing to do with anything.

barley5  barley6

“They don’t call it pigmentation for nuthin!” . . . yeah no one says that.

“It’s like eating paint samples, but not as, you know, deathy.” This is going downhill, isn’t it?

Okay one more!

“Get that prism in your mouth already.”  I’m leaning towards this one.


I’m feeling really solid about a few, if not all of those. I’ll let you know how my very important imaginary meeting goes with the staff at . . . Sloganvilletopia (?) this afternoon.

In the meantime, colorfy yo’ face!


OOOO, adding that one.

Vegetarian Barley Toss:

What it took for 4 (or 6 side dishes):

* 1 cup uncooked barley (quick cooking is fine)
* 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and sliced on the diagonal into 1-inch chunks
* 3 cups arugula
* 2 mini sweet red peppers (or 1 red bell), seeded and diced
* 2 mini sweet orange peppers (or 1 orange bell), seeded and diced
* 1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (or dehydrated)
* juice from half a lemon
* 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
* 1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the barley and a pinch of salt; reduce heat to low and simmer until cooked through yet toothy, about 40 minutes. (or if you’re using quick cooking, like 5 seconds.) Drain and transfer barley to a large bowl.

Bring 1 Tbs. oil to a medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the asparagus and  sauté until crisp-tender and bright green, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and bloom 30 more seconds. Remove from heat.

To the barley bowl, add the sautéed asparagus, arugula, diced peppers, chickpeas and tomatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 Tbs. oil with the lemon juice, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour dressing over the barley mixture. Add parsley and give everything an enormo toss. Then start a band called The Enormo Tosses.

Divide and conquer.


Still leaning towards the prism in the mouth one though.


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27 Responses to Vegetarian Barley Toss

  1. Jeanine March 6, 2013 at 8:14 am #
    You crack me up :) I'll eat this rainbow any day, gorgeous!
    • John August 9, 2021 at 11:55 pm #
      You can go fuck your self.
  2. Katie March 6, 2013 at 8:19 am #
    Excuse me, you've got a little rainbow left in your teeth. (translation: I'm so very into eating this)
  3. Mountaincat March 6, 2013 at 8:31 am #
    I really miss Chicken Tonight! I ate that stuff at least once a week!
  4. Carly @ Snack Therapy March 6, 2013 at 8:31 am #
    How about: So many different wavelengths in one bowl! I was channeling Bill Nye the Science Guy with that one.
  5. claire @ the realistic nutritionist March 6, 2013 at 8:41 am #
    I'll be over shortly to eat this with you. Even though I Know you made it last week. So let's just drink wine and laugh at eachother.
  6. Little Kitchie March 6, 2013 at 8:46 am #
  7. Jamily March 6, 2013 at 8:48 am #
    I want to lick my screen. Cant wait to try it!!
  8. Heather @ Heather's Dish March 6, 2013 at 9:37 am #
    The name "vegetarian barley toss" makes me feel just so cool and breezy. I know, I'm weird...
  9. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl March 6, 2013 at 10:10 am #
    I want to live in that bowl.
  10. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar March 6, 2013 at 10:58 am #
    So many delicious things going on here! Yum!
  11. Heather March 6, 2013 at 11:15 am #
    I'm officially requesting a Mexican dish with sun dried tomatoes because they're delicious and I have a whole bag of them from Trader Joe's. And I love Mexican. (Tim Gunn voice): Make it workkkkk.
  12. Anne @The Cooking Campaign March 6, 2013 at 11:59 am #
    So beautiful! I'm always looking for new ways to cook with barley!
  13. Caroline @ chocolate & carrots March 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm #
    I love how fresh and inviting this dish is. Beautiful! It's like a rainbow in a bowl. :)
  14. dixya @ food, pleasure, and health March 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm #
    love your sense of humor and this dish is asking me to - make it NOW. What a colorful creation.
  15. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence March 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm #
    Yum!! Looks delicious :) “Get that prism in your mouth already.” is definitely my fav.
  16. Julie @ Table for Two March 6, 2013 at 7:23 pm #
    bahahaha you crack me up. i adore this so much. such a great way to use barley!
  17. Megan @ Country Cleaver March 6, 2013 at 11:17 pm #
    Colorfy my face? Don't mind if I do!
  18. Jen @ Savory Simple March 7, 2013 at 7:46 am #
    Yes to all of this!
  19. Cassie | Bake Your Day March 7, 2013 at 7:55 am #
    Love all these colors, Bev!
  20. Amber (Sprinkled With Flour) March 7, 2013 at 11:40 am #
    I've never tried barley but in this salad it's making me wish I had. This looks so fresh and pretty, perfect for the upcoming spring weather. :)
  21. val March 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm #
    I love barley and this is such a light and fantastic week night meal.
  22. marina March 11, 2013 at 7:47 pm #
    I needed a good excuse to buy a bunch of tender, slender, springy asparagus stalks at Sprouts so I decided to make this for lunch on Saturday! Totally loved it. Fresh, colorful, crunchy, beautiful, extremely filling. My husband and son devoured it (after first being skeptical about "vegetarian" lunch). Leftovers are just as good the second day.
  23. Lisa | With Style and Grace March 14, 2013 at 9:18 am #
    this is my kind of rainbow!
  24. Tyler March 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm #
    This was delicious! Thanks for the recipe!


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