This barley casserole recipe came about because of the lack of a stove in the hostel Phil and I are staying at in Florence, Italy.
With no heat in our room, we needed something hot for dinner and although an oven takes longer it can make for some fantastic healthy vegetarian recipes.
I put together this dish by starting with some barley, an onion and some gorgeous Italian tomatoes. Slow roasting the barley makes it so soft, and it absorbs the wonderful flavor of the Italian herbs and Tuscan vegetables. My special addition was a flavorful balsamic vinegar that brought everything together - you can't leave it out!
Phil and I enjoyed our leftovers for lunch on a hill overlooking Florence, after grabbing a wonderful vegetable panini in town.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1:20
Time from start to eating: 1:30
Makes enough for 3.
Click for video transcription
This transcription will have some mistakes because it is partially automated.
Hello and welcome to Freshly Served Healthy Vegan Recipes in Europe. I’m Heather and tonight I’m coming to you live from the land of pasta, pizza, gelato and many yummy things.
This is our welcome to Florence.
Yeah! Beautiful, sunny Italy!
What I am making for dinner tonight? Barley!
Don’t worry, I have a secret weapon, it’s gonna be delicious. It was so good last night that Phil told me I had to film it today so we’ve spent the afternoon wandering the gorgeous streets of Florence, Italy and I am now ready to put together some dinner.
So we arrived in this hostel, we have a nice kitchen here to use. Very beautiful marble cutting board but there’s no stove just an oven. I had to look around for a little while to make sure I was right but anyway no stove so I took the barley that we have here which here they called Orzo. In Canada there’s something called Orzo that is more like a pasta but here Orzo is barley.
So I’ve decided to do a baked barley in the oven and what I’ve got is some onion, some tomato and some broccoli and what I’m gonna do is put the onion and the tomatoes in this baking dish first. I’m gonna put the barley in with it along with some water, some salt and my Italian herb mix.
I’m gonna save the broccoli to go in a little bit later once the barley had a chance to cooked a little bit. I don’t want to overdo my broccoli coz I like it to have a little bit of crunch to it.
I’m throwing tomatoes on the floor. So, I think it’s time to pause this.
Alright! We have the tomatoes and the onions and there along with the garlic. I’ve just stirred it in to mix everything together and then I’m just gonna add water. And what I’m gonna add is enough water to come up to the level here, and then the barley is going to absorb that water as it bakes in the oven.
Ok! There’s my Italian herb mix going in, just stir that around and what will happen is the herbs will get their flavours in to the water and then the water is gonna be absorbed into barley so the flavours can be absorbed into the barley. Very nice! Ok.
So that’s stirred up to the oven at 180 Celsius that would be about 350F. (I need to practice this) Ok! So this is gonna go into the oven for about an hour. Then you’re gonna cut the broccoli and I’ll show you that one and if you’re thinking one hour for dinner, really that sucks!
Don’t worry because we can do, it is what I’m gonna and I’ll go upstairs read a book maybe do some work and this can just stay in the oven on its own for an hour. Isn’t that great?
While I’m doing that I think Phil will probably show you some clips wandering around in Florence, be sure to go to the website HeathyVeganRecipes.net for the recipe for tonight’s dinner and you can also find all of our travels, we’ve posted a special travel section for you as everything is free in there there’s more cooking videos and tips videos since Phil and I are travelling but you have to go at HealthyVeganRecipes.net/Europe to check that out.
So, leave this for an hour and I’ll see you back then.
So, here’s our dish after about one hour. Give it a little stir and you can see that the barley is starting to plump up nicely there, it will get a lot more plump than than as well. The herbs tend to float so you got to stir them back down and I’ve got the broccoli ready to go in as well.
You know broccoli will get dry if you leave it on top so what you gotta do is make sure that all the little floats get into the liquid.
So the broccoli is staring to steam a little bit already but we’re gonna put this back to the oven for 20 minutes to get a little bit more cooked and its time now for my super special Italian ingredient, balsamic vinegar!
So just give a little squirt on top there, stir it through. Pop this back into the oven for about 20 minutes.
So there is my finish product, the barley has been cooking for an hour and 20 minutes meaning its really soft, big and delicious infused with some herbs and some balsamic vinegar and some of the vegetables in there as well.
So hope you enjoyed, you can find the recipe at HealthyVeganRecipes.net and don’t forget to checked out all of them my travel videos at HealthyVeganRecips.net/Europe
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