Pic of Tomato and Barley Pilaf with Roast Green Beans and Sheep's Cheese

Tomato and Barley Pilaf with Roast Green Beans and Sheep's Cheese

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Vegetarian mains

Tomato and Barley Pilaf with Roast Green Beans and Sheep's Cheese

Serves 2 40 min
Green beans needn't always be boiled or steamed; they'll happily roast in a hot oven. They don't retain their bright green colour as well, but the flavour more than makes up for this. Stirring the garlic and lemon zest into the beans as they come out of the oven allows the heat of the roasting tin to take away their raw edge. Barley has a natural bite and chew to it when cooked. It should absorb the liquid as it cooks.


  • 150g pearl barley
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick - use ½
  • 500ml warm vegetable stock
  • 300g mixed tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 125g French beans, trimmed
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • small handful of dill, chopped
  • 100g sheep's cheese
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 30 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Rinse the barley in a sieve. Split open each cardamom pod with your thumb nail.
  • Step 2

    Transfer the barley to a large saucepan, with the cardamom pods, cloves, saffron, bay leaf and half the cinnamon stick. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, until tender (add a dash of water if it looks like drying out).
  • Step 3

    Halve or quarter the tomatoes, depending on size. Place them in a roasting tray. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven to roast for 10 minutes
  • Step 4

    When the tomatoes have had 10 minutes, remove the tray from the oven. Slide them over to one half of the tray and place the beans in the empty half. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn well, to coat, and return the tray to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  • Step 5

    After 10 minutes, remove the roasting tray from the oven. Add the garlic and lemon zest to the beans and mix well. Leave for a few minutes (see cook's note).
  • Step 6

    Drain and taste the barley. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Pick out the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom pods.
  • Step 7

    Mix the roasted beans and half the dill into the barley. Pile into 2 bowls and top with the roasted tomatoes. Crumble over the sheep's cheese. Garnish with the remaining dill and wedges of lemon for squeezing.

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