Barley Casserole with Tahini Dressing (Gluten free if using tamari, Soy Free if using shoyu)
1 cup barley (hulled or pearled. Hulled has only the outermost layer of grain removed, while pearled has the outer husk and bran layers removed. More nutritious and fiber-full, hulled also takes longer to cook.)
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium-large carrot, grated
1/2 head broccoli, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (about 6 ounces)
1/2 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped into 3/4 inch strips (about 6 leaves, any kale variety works here)
2 tbsp soy sauce/tamari/shoyu
1/8 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1 15-oz can great northern beans (or any kind of white bean)
Tahini Dressing Ingredients:
1 shallot, rough chopped
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 tbsp soy sauce/tamari/shoyu
Pinch of paprika and oregano
3 leaves fresh basil
Combine the barley with 3 cups of water in a medium-large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour for hulled barley, tasting after 45 minutes, and about 45 minutes for pearled barley, tasting after 30 minutes. Drain off any remaining water in a sieve and set cooked barley aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
For the tahini dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender with 1/2 cup water until smooth. Unfortunately, I missed the whole “with 1/2 cup water” instruction and ended up with more of a tahini paste which I sprinkled than a dressing meant to be poured. Oopsie daisy!
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 7 minutes, or until tender. Add the carrot and broccoli and cook for about 3 minutes more. Stir in the kale, soy sauce (or preferred brown salty Asian condiment), basil, and oregano, and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the barley and beans, stir for 3 minutes.
Transfer half of the barley mixture to an 8″x 8″ baking dish and drizzle (or sprinkle, in my case), half of the tahini dressing on top. Add the rest of the barley mixture and drizzle the remaining dressing.