Red Pesto Barley with Roasted Vegetables

June was the big “move-in” month! After a couple of weeks of living in limbo, my family arrived in Charleston with a U-Haul full of furniture and four pairs of helping hands. My “new” apartment, true to downtown Charleston, is a historic home that has been renovated to preserve its rustic charm. My parents are truly the dynamic duo when it comes to moving houses (fun fact: together they have moved in and out of 16 different homes). My mom has an eye for all things decorative. She acts as the interior designer, while my dad plays Mr. Handy-man. He can take on pretty much any task you ask of him. Together, and with little direction from me, they set my apartment up beautifully!

As a small thank you, I tried to prepare homemade lunches and provide treats for the family as they worked hard in my apartment.

Red Pesto with Barley and Roasted Summer Vegetables Recipe:

(Adapted from Anja’s Food 4 Thought blog)

1 cup dry barley (or farro, wheat berries, spelt)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup yellow squash (or butternut squash)
salt to taste
4 tablespoons mixed seeds, toasted (optional)

Red Pesto
3 tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained*
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil

*If you do not have capers or wish to omit them completely, you can substitute 1/4 cup artichoke hearts + a dash of balsamic vinegar (milder taste)
Serves 4
Cook the barley in slightly salted water until tender and chewy, about 45 minutes to one hour. Drain and rinse with warm water. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Chop squash, pepper and zucchini into bite size chunks. Transfer to baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the veggies and stir until they are coated. Season with salt. Oven-roast for 15-20 minutes.
For the red pesto, combine all ingredients in a food processor. Mix until smooth.
Stir the red pesto into the wheat berries. Make sure you don’t use too much, as the flavor is very strong and can be overpowering. Stir in the roasted veggies and sprinkle the seeds on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.*
*Served cold over a bed of mixed baby lettuces, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, with a touch of cajun seasoning for spice.

Lucky for me, I live right across the street from Sugar Bake Shop!
Charlotte, the true sugar addict in the family, could hardly wait to run across the street and explore the shop. We left with a variety of baked goods: a Ginger Molasses Cookie, Double Chocolate Espresso Brownie (ammmazing and only sold on Tuesdays!), Raspberry Almond Tart, and a Mint Chocolate Cupcake.


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