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2000s Recipes + Menus

Moroccan Chickpeas and Roasted Vegetables with Barley

  • Active time:35 min
  • Start to finish:1 1/4 hr
May 2008
The Moroccan spice blend ras-el-hanout is thought by some to be an aphrodisiac. Perhaps that explains why all the food editors felt so amorous toward this deeply flavored celebration of vegetables.
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets (4 cups)
  • 1 medium fennel bulb (anise), stalks discarded and bulb cored and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 2 medium zucchini (1/2 lb total), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 medium carrots (1/4 lb total), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ras-el-hanout
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 cup Turkish apricots (1/4 lb), halved
  • 1 (3-inch) piece of cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1 (15-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
  • Toss cauliflower, fennel, zucchini, and carrots in a large bowl with ras-el-hanout, 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast vegetables in a foil-lined large shallow baking pan until tender and well browned on edges, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook barley in a 4-quart pot of boiling salted water (2 teaspoons salt for 3 quarts water), uncovered, until firm-tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Drain in a colander, then keep warm, covered, in colander set over a saucepan with 1 to 2 inches of simmering water.
  • Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Transfer garlic to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add onion and apricots to skillet with cinnamon stick, red-pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper, then cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes with their juice, breaking them up into small pieces, then add chickpeas, water, honey, roasted vegetables, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and simmer until liquid has thickened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Serve barley in shallow bowls with vegetable mixture spooned over, then sprinkle with cilantro.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Vegetables can be roasted 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
  • Barley can be cooked 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Rewarm in colander over simmering water.