Barley with Sundried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese-Walnut Pesto

May 20, 2009 · 23 comments

in goat cheese,healthy,rice and grains

Our fridge is never totally empty.   Even when you open it and it looks pretty bare, there is always cheese.  And not just one kind of cheese. Not even 3 or 4. Usually there are at least 5 different types, and usually closer to 8 or 9.  Some may call it a sickness, but I just call it normal. 

Cheese makes everything better. Nothing to make but a boring ol’ chicken breast? Stuff it with goat cheese.  Brown rice too plain for you?  Add some gouda.  Roasted veggies need a little oomph? Top with some pecorino. 

Now, a problem arises when you open a bunch of cheese and there are only two people living under your roof, even if those two people consume copious amounts of cheese. So was the issue with this log of goat cheese in the fridge. It had to be eaten before we went out of town and since I had some extra fresh basil around, I decided to make a pesto. Rather than use the typical pine nuts, I opted for walnuts and voila, a new pesto was born.

We had eaten WAY too much pasta in the last couple weeks, so rather than use the pesto in pasta, I decided to use it on some barley. It’s no secret I love barley, and the fact that it’s so good for you doesn’t hurt, either. This was a great way to (forgive me for using this phrase) jazz up barley. The walnuts played well with the nuttiness of the barley, and basil  & goat cheese are always a killer combo in my book.  I added the sundried tomatoes for a little texture and color and am glad I did! 

The nice thing about pesto, too, is that it can be eaten at pretty much any temperature and taste good. This is a great alternative to pasta or potato salad, especially for my fellow mayo-haters. 

 

 

Barley with Goat Cheese-Walnut Pesto

Serves 4 as a side
print Printer Friendly Recipe

1 cup pearled barley
1/4 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh basil
2 oz. goat cheese
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, drained 

Cook the barley according to the package directions, using water or broth for the liquid (I actually used 2 parts water to one part broth).

Meanwhile, make the pesto.  Heat a small pan over medium heat and then add the walnuts. Toss around a few times, toasting the walnuts, until you can smell them. Add the toasted walnuts to a food processor along with the garlic and pulse to combine. Add the basil, followed by the goat cheese. Slowly stream in the olive oil until you get the consistency you want. I didn’t make a loose pesto for this, because I wasn’t really going for a sauce or a dressing. I probably added about 1.5T. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the pesto and the sundried tomatoes to the cooked barley, stirring to combine and fully coat the barley.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Joelen May 20, 2009 at 10:47 am

What a great combo of flavors!!

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Erin May 20, 2009 at 11:00 am

I have barley in my pantry from some soup I made a while back, and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do w/ it. A salad like this is a good idea, maybe with some chopped veggies added, too!

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Alisa - Frugal Foodie May 20, 2009 at 11:22 am

Though I don’t have the cheese option, barley with a homemade pesto sounds wonderful, especially with the sun-dried tomatoes!

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branny May 20, 2009 at 12:05 pm

This looks like an absolutely delicious side dish.

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Núria May 20, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Ha, ha, your fridge and mine don’t have that in common! No cheese in mine… But I must admitt your dish looks lovely and that walnut pesto needs to be cloned in Barcelona ;D.
Cheers!

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kleverkira May 20, 2009 at 1:31 pm

This looks delicious. I really need to try barley soon.

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kleverkira May 20, 2009 at 1:31 pm

This looks delicious. I really need to try barley soon.

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Joan Nova May 20, 2009 at 2:55 pm

I never use barley but it looks like a good alternative to pasta.

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Juliana May 20, 2009 at 3:43 pm

I love barley…maybe because of the texture…kind of chewy…I like the idea of adding walnut. Nice picture.

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Kerstin May 20, 2009 at 6:45 pm

I love your addition of walnuts to the pesto! I’l have to try it, especially since pine nuts are so much more expensive. We usually have at least 6 kinds of cheese around as well, it’s just SO good :)

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Peter G May 20, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Yum! That looks totally delicious Elly! I love this! And yes! Everything tastes better with cheese!

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Stacey May 20, 2009 at 7:55 pm

That looks delicious!

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nina May 21, 2009 at 12:37 am

O h yes, definitely got my attention! We love barley and I won a whole basket full of cheeses, so I have loads of goat’s cheese to use!!!

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Ben May 21, 2009 at 10:00 am

8-9 kinds of cheese! Nice! That was normal at my parents’ house, too. But I am really bad at getting different kinds of cheese. I really need to change that. Great recipe!

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Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen May 21, 2009 at 11:29 am

I am so very with you on the cheese thing, Elly! :)

I love the pesto and the barley! Perfect together!

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Ivy May 21, 2009 at 3:08 pm

I am not a fan of pine nuts and definitely prefer walnuts in pesto but even better I usually add pecans. Lovely combination of ingredients.

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maria May 22, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Oh, I love cheese too … I can go without many ingredients/foods for quite a while but cheese is something I’ve GOT to eat EVERY day. Maybe even two, three or four times a day.

This sounds like a great recipe. I have yet to cook with barley. The pesto sounds amazing … and I too can’t stand mayo, so this is great.

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Singing Horse May 23, 2009 at 11:47 am

This barley dish looks really good! Barley with pesto is an excellent idea. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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Singing Horse May 23, 2009 at 11:47 am

This barley dish looks really good! Barley with pesto is an excellent idea. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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Kanella May 27, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Everything does taste better with cheese! How very creative to pair pesto and barley.

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Kevin May 30, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Simple and delicious!

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Lexie June 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm

I am the same way…love cheese and always have it in my fridge. Kinda of an addiction, but everything is definitely tastier with some cheese on it!
This dish looks so good! Especially with the barley and walnuts in it…yum!!

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Lexie June 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm

I am the same way…love cheese and always have it in my fridge. Kinda of an addiction, but everything is definitely tastier with some cheese on it!
This dish looks so good! Especially with the barley and walnuts in it…yum!!

Reply

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