Balkan Roasted Vegetable Salad
- 1/2 cup raw barley (pearl or pot)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil*
- 1 to 1/2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 of an onion, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, trimmed and halved (quartered or cut into 8 if large)
- 1 tomato
- 1/2 a cucumber
- 1/2 cup grated feta
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- Preheat the oven to 500F.
- Place the barley and water in a saucepan, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook on low heat until most of the water has been absorbed and the barley is soft, about 40 minutes. When the barley is tender, drain it in a colander.
- While the barley is cooking, combine the marinade ingredients by whirling briefly in a blender or food processor, or by whisking them in a bowl. Set aside. On a large baking pan with raised sides, spread out the sweet potato, red pepper, onions, and mushrooms and drizzle with about 1/2 of the marinade. Right on the baking tray, toss the vegetables with the marinade until evenly coated. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until tender and slightly browned.
- While the vegetables roast, dice the tomatoes and cucumber.** Place them in a serving bowl. Add the drained barley. Drizzle with the remaining marinade and toss well. With a slotted spatula, transfer the roasted vegetables to the bowl and toss well.
- Serve immediately, or at room temperature, or chilled. Top each portion with feta.