Roasted Carrots and Barley

This dish is packed with flavor from the spicy roasted carrots and the lemony barley topped with dill. For me, carrots can be eaten throughout the year. When I was a little girl my aunt once said if I eat a lot of carrots my hair will grow really long and someone else told me if I eat carrots I would be able to see in the dark. I actually did have really long hair for a long time and my eyesight is good, but when I looked it up I found out that while carrots are good for your eyes, you’d have to eat tons of carrots (and turn orange from eating too much carotene) before it would really have an effect. Still, when my goddaughter didn’t want to eat her carrots earlier this year I told her if she did, she’d be able to see in the dark. At first she wasn’t sure if she should believe me but after I told her she’d be able to see and her brothers wouldn’t, those carrots disappeared very quickly.

The carrots we planted earlier this year are still growing which means I have to stick to winter carrots, but this dish is still good. I was inspired by a recipe in Diana Henry’s newest book “Simple“. I always love a good Moroccan taste, so this recipe caught my eye. Instead of paring the carrots with white beans, I decided on barley. Picking up the lemon in the roasted carrots, I added a lemon vinaigrette from an old Martha Stewart recipe to pull it all together. Plus, the lemon and the dill cut the heat of the harissa a bit.

Whatever the season, I hope you enjoy this dish. I’d recommend eating it warm in the cooler seasons and at room temperature in the hotter months.

Roasted carrots with harissa and lemon barley

  • 350 g carrots
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 Tbs harissa
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 100 g barley
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 25 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • pinch of sugar, salt and pepper
  • small bunch of dill, chopped

Heat the oven to 200°C. Peel the carrots and cut lengthwise into fourths. Mix the lemon juice, harissa, olive oil, cumin, garlic and honey in a bowl until smooth. Place the carrots in an ovenproof form and toss with the harissa mixture. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring once about halfway through.

Cook the barley with enough water to cover generously and cook over medium heat until tender, about 20 minutes, and then drain and place in a bowl. Mix the lemon juice, mustard, cheese, sugar, salt and pepper together. Slowly add the olive oil until emulsified.

Mix as much of the dressing you’d like into the barley. Divide the barley onto two plates and top first with the with roasted carrots and then the chopped dill.

Serves 2.

Notes: If you’re using young or thin carrots, cutting them in half will be. The dressing makes more than you’ll need for the recipe, but keeps well in the fridge. It’s also delicious on a green salad.

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