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Pearl Barley-Veggie Bowl, Spice Oil

I sometimes find Buddha bowls a bit monotonous to eat but certainly feel virtuous when doing so -- what they lack in taste they often make up for in in-your-face healthiness. I am all for eating healthily and eating the rainbow, but I like a little fat and a lot of flavor in the mix.

Use whatever vegetables you feel like, have on hand, or are seasonal, and change this bowl every time you make it by varying the condiments that you add. I used eggplant, peppers and broccoli ninos (the cutesy marketing name for baby heads of broccoli) because I am trying to clear my fridge before leaving on a trip, but anything that roasts well will do. Just make sure that you have varying textures to keep each bite interesting. As for condiments, I used fish sauce, but have used soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce in the past as well. A little shichimi togarashi across the top would not be a bad idea.

1/2 cup pearl barley

1 cup assorted vegetables

1 egg

1 Tbsp chopped green onion

1/2 tsp freshly ground ginger

1/2 tsp fish sauce

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400.

While it is heating, chop the vegetables. Measure the pearl barley into a pan and add two cups of water. Salt liberally and turn the heat to medium. Cook for 25 minutes, uncovered.

Place all of the vegetables on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Drizzle with half of the oil and salt lightly. Place in the oven. Cooking time will depend on what vegetables you used so I can't really time this dish for you. My vegetables were done in about fifteen minutes.

Remove the vegetables from the oven and drizzle with the fish sauce. Toss to combine.

Drain the pearl barley when it is done and add to a bowl. Top with the roasted vegetables.

Place a skillet over medium heat -- a non stick one works best for eggs -- and add the remaining oil. Crack the egg into the pan and cook until as set as you like. I like a bit of an oozy yolk so that it can drip into the pearl barley when the egg is cut, but still a bit of cooked yolk as well. When the egg is cooked, lift it on top of the vegetables.

Add the chopped green onion and ginger to the oil remaining in the egg pan and cook for about thirty seconds, until very fragrant. Drizzle the hot oil over the top of the dish.

Salt lightly and eat, preferably with a spoon.

This dish took about thirty five minutes from fridge to table, most of it while the barley and vegetables were cooking and could be left unattended.


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