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Mains, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

Sesame barley bowl

Sesame barley bowl
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Barley is comfortably common. You can find it easily, often sold in generic packages, sitting next to the bags of split peas and navy beans on the lowest shelf at your unfancy neighborhood supermarket. Barley is familiar. It isn't hipsterized ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 4


  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup tahini paste
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice bran or grape seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 large garlic clove, mashed with a garlic press

Step 1In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, tahini, oils, ginger, soy sauce, sugar and garlic. This makes about 3/4 cup dressing, which will keep up to 4 days, covered and refrigerated.

Barley bowl

  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Prepared dressing
  • 6 cups mixed greens, such as mizuna, arugula, spinach and baby kale
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 small watermelon or winter radish, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds or roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
  • Toasted black sesame seeds

Step 1In a heavy saucepan, bring the water, barley and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the barley is tender, stirring once or twice, 25 to 35 minutes. Drain the barley and cool completely. The barley can be prepared up to 3 days in advance; cover and refrigerate before using.

Step 2In a large bowl, toss the greens with 1/4 cup dressing. Divide the greens among 4 serving bowls. Mix the barley, green onions and 1/4 cup dressing in the same bowl. Spoon the barley atop or beside the greens, dividing evenly. Place the radish slices in a small bowl and sprinkle with salt. Add the vinegar and sugar and toss until the radish slices soften slightly, about 30 seconds. Divide the slices among the bowls. Top with avocado slices. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the bowl. Sprinkle with cashews and sesame seeds and serve.


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