Today I am sharing this earthy Moroccan barley & vegetable pilaf with cumin dressing. Another delicious recipe from the book Colour of Maroc. I am in total mood for exploring Moroccan food ahead of our coming food photography workshop in Marrakech next month with Ophélie.
Pumpkin is still in season (I used butternut but you can use any really) and I had a few cups dried chickpeas in my pantry that I needed to use. I bought the pearl barley from an organic store. Both chickpeas and pearl barley combined make it a filling salad as itself or you can serve it as an accompaniment with roasted or grilled meats.
If you are in a rush, get the chickpeas already cooked in a can or glass jar otherwise plan ahead and soak them overnight. I have read elsewhere that you also should soak the pearl barley overnight before cooking for it to be tender. This is what I did as opposed to what was suggested in the original recipe.
Ingredients (serves 6)
1/2 cup (100g) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 1/2 cups (300g) dried pearl barley, soaked overnight
1 cup (50g) flat-leaf fresh parsley leaves
3 spring onions, thinly sliced – or alternatively if not in season use a small red onion
4 red peppers cut into small strips – if not in season use preserved or frozen ones
800g butternut pumpkin, skin removed and cut into small pieces
4 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt flakes & black pepper, to season
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp sea salt flakes
Prepare the cumin dressing: whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside and whisk again before using.
Drain separately the soaked chickpeas and pearl barley and rinse well under cold wate. Discard any skins form the chickpeas that have fallen off or are loose. Cook the chickpeas in a large saucepan of boiling water for 1h to 2h or until tender. Drain and set aside.
Cook the barley in another large saucepan of boiling salted water for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain, then while still hot combine with the chickpeas and half of the cumin dressing. Toss together to coat. Set aside to cool to room temperature and allow flavours to develop. Once cooled, too through the parsley and spring onion.
Preheat your oven at 180°C / 350°F. Place the peppers, pumpkin and oil together in a large baking tray. Toss well to coat. Bake in oven for 45-50 min or until vegetable are tender and golden. Remove tray from oven and allow to cool. Add the remaining cumin dressing and toss to combine.
Spoon the chickpea/barley mixture into a large shallow bowl and top with the roasted vegetables. Serve immediately.
If you are looking for more Moroccan inspired recipes, check my previous posts: