Chewy, nutty, pearl barley isn't just for soups. Here, we've made it the star of a hearty bowl that's full of contrasting — and surprising —textures and Middle Eastern flavors, with its warm spices and colorful vegetables.
To keep the cooking method easy, we simply boiled the barley. This made the individual grains tender and kept them distinct and light. We tossed the warm barley with a bright lemon-mint dressing so the grains would readily soak it up.
While the barley cooked, we pan-roasted coriander-dusted spears of carrots until charred, sweet, and tender. We then threw in crisp snow peas and cooked them until just blistered, so they would retain their green freshness.
Toasting sunflower seeds with cumin, cardamom, and a little more coriander gave the dish a warm, aromatic finish. We piled a mound of the dressed barley and vegetables into our bowls, followed by our crunchy seed topping.
Finally, to pull all the components of the bowl together, we needed a drizzle of sauce, and our Tahini Sauce was a creamy, zesty addition. Do not substitute hulled barley or hull-less barley in this recipe.
If using quick-cooking or pre-steamed barley (read the ingredient list on the package to determine this), you will need to decrease the barley cooking time. We also like this bowl topped with avocado.