Barley with Sundried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese-Walnut Pesto

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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
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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.

Barley with Sundried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese-Walnut Pesto

  • What a great combo of flavors!!

  • 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!

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

  • This looks like an absolutely delicious side dish.

  • 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!

  • kleverkira

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

  • kleverkira

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

  • Joan Nova

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

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

  • 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 🙂

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

  • That looks delicious!

  • 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!!!

  • Ben

    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!

  • I am so very with you on the cheese thing, Elly! 🙂

    I love the pesto and the barley! Perfect together!

  • Ivy

    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.

  • 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.

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

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

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

  • Simple and delicious!

  • 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!!

  • 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!!