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Spicy Barley with Snow Peas and Feta

June 16, 2010

Spicy Barley with Snow Peas and Feta

When I pulled something non-leafy out of my CSA box last week, I must admit I got very excited. They sent some lovely, delicate, golden snow peas (and a bigger bag this week!) and I immediately started plotting how they might end up on my plate. A few cursory searches revealed a lot of recipes for basic side dishes and beef-based stir fries. And although I am currently blessed with a freezer full of beef, I wanted something vegetarian. And something that could stand up as an actual meal, not an afterthought, which vegetable recipes so often seem to be. I couldn’t find anything that appealed, so when it came time to cook the snow peas, I winged it. And what I came up with wasn’t half bad.

It’s another Food Matters-style dinner: plants, plants, and more plants, with just a sprinkling of feta to add a cool, creamy element to the mix. And yes, it does contain more grains and greens, but the addition of those snow peas really signified the beginning of summer produce to me. This dish is spicy and garlicky and crunchy and good.

Cooking snow peas with garlic scapes and roasted red peppers

Garlic scapes also make an appearance here, as they were another gift from the CSA box. This was the first time I’d even seen garlic scapes, and they are pretty keen. All that great garlic flavor, without the sticky, hard-to-peel garlic mess. Though they have been terrific in various sauteed dishes, they were a slightly more odd addition to my last batch of hummus, though I suspect that’s because I didn’t chop them finely enough. Alas. Here, they are delightful. If you can’t find garlic scapes, a few cloves of regular garlic will work just fine.

Spicy Barley with Snow Peas and Feta

  • 1/2 cup of semi-pearled barley
  • 1 cup of water or stock
  • 1 spash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic scapes, chopped
  • about 2 cups of trimmed snow peas
  • about 3/4 cup of chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • about 2 cups of arugula
  • about 1/3 cup of crumbled feta

In a saucepan over medium heat, mix the barley, water or stock, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes.

About 5 to 10 minutes before the barley is done, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic scapes and cook for a minute or two. Add the snow peas and the roasted red peppers, and cook another few minutes. Add the crushed red peppers and lemon pepper and stir well. Salt to taste. When the barley is finished, add it to the skillet and stir well. Stir in the arugula, just until it wilts. Then serve topped with feta.

Snow peas, barley, and feta

I used to be a little skeptical of arugula, but I must admit it’s quickly becoming on of my favorite greens. It’s bright, peppery grassiness compliments almost everything. And these snow peas were just as lovely and fresh tasting as they looked. This was one more unexpectedly good, easy weeknight dinner.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. nonni christine permalink
    June 20, 2010 12:47 pm

    I am new to the CSA bounty here in New England. All these greens are a bit overwelming. Please keep up the recipes and ideas. And just between you and me…what’s with all the garlic scapes?


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