Jan 6, 2014

Barley and root vegetable parmigiana

Could barely and vegetables taste any better this Winter...?

Recipe inspired by Giada de Laurentiis
time: 30 min preparation + 30 min baking + 10 min cooling

2 cups barley, washed and drained
2 Tablespoons olive oil + more for greasing the dish and drizzling
about 3/4 lb (300 g) /2 large carrots
about 3/4 lb (300 g) /2 large parsnips
about 3/4 lb (300 g) /1 medium celery root
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, quantity divided
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups (about 80 g) grated Parmesan, quantity divided
4 Tablespoons (60 g) butter
4 Tablespoons (40 g) flour
2 cups (480 ml) warm milk (I used almond)
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
salt, pepper to taste

Prepare barley: Bring a medium pot with 4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil. Add barley. Simmer for 20-25 minutes till all water gone and barley is tender. Meanwhile...Prepare an 8x11inch (20x28cm) ceramic dish and grease it with oil. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C (fan forced).

Prepare sauce: On a medium skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Whisk in flour and stir for 2 minutes till all smooth. Pour in warm milk. Continue whisking. Bring to boil, lower the heat and cook for 2 minutes till thickens (clumps will disappear with good whisking). Take it off the heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and some freshly ground pepper to taste.

Prepare vegetables: Using a mandolin slicer or a big knife, cut vegetables short and thin (kind of like matches). On a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium/high. Add vegetables and thyme, sauté for about 6-8 minutes, till tender but not overcooked, adding 1/2 teaspoon salt in the middle (and a couple of Tablespoons of water if too dry) and some pepper at the end of cooking.
Add barley, sauce, Parmesan (reserve 2 Tablespoons for finishing) to the vegetables. Stir until combined. Adjust seasoning. Transfer the mix into the prepared dish. Level it with a spoon. Sprinkle with the rest of Parmesan, bread crumbs and drizzle it with olive oil. Set it in the hot oven for 20 minutes, then turn oven function to top grill only (on medium/high) for the last 10 minutes of baking. When parmigiana is nice and golden on top, take it out. Let it cool for 10 minutes and serve.

  • although a savory dish, this one is sweet...and creamy;
  • sauce and Parmesan combined all the flavors beautifully;
  • Giada also had a cup of Gruyere and a 1/2 cup of Fontina cheese in the recipe for a more cheesy version of the dish;
  • I added carrots, parsnips and celery where Giada had musrhooms and tomatoes;
  • I'm determined to use more root vegetables this winter; they are cheep, local and in season;
  • this idea turns them into something...Italian (read - Fantastic); thank you, Mrs. De Laurentiis;
  • we had it with some sauerkraut on the side.


  1. This is such an interesting recipe and a clever way to using more barley!

  2. this is like my favorite food! veggies and crumble!!:)
    Hope to post today ! I have all but I have to review the récipe!

  3. That looks terrific - and so warm for this time of year!

  4. Anonymous1/06/2014

    such a healty and tasty savoury bites......
    great job on veggies dish my friend!!!

  5. A delicious and healthy looking parmesana.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  6. I love the crispy top and the barley must give it a great chew. Very nice dish!

  7. I love the bread crumb top on the barley and veggies hidden inside. Such a wonderful hearty dish.

  8. This looks awesome Ela! Sounds like such a hearty and comforting dish to enjoy all these root vegetables and barley :) The bread crumb topping look so crispy and tasty too!

  9. A hearty and delicious winter time dish, Ela.... beautifully presented too.

  10. Amazing comfort food!
    Happy new year,dear!
    Kisses from Greece!

  11. This is so warming and delicious. A very creative way to use barley.

  12. Hearty and irresistible! I'd go wild for this veggie dish, Ela!

  13. This looks like a great way to use root vegetables, plus my husband loves barley. Looks like a great recipe!