Roasted Mushroom and Halloumi Grain Bowl
Like chickpeas and tofu, halloumi cheese is a sturdy vegetarian protein that browns and crisps when roasted in the oven. Its salty, chewy character is just one of the exciting bits about this grain bowl. Other highlights include crisp mushrooms, which roast alongside the halloumi; dollops of olive-studded yogurt; and whatever bright and crunchy herbs and vegetables you like or need to use up. To easily enjoy the full range of textures in each bite, instead of simply piling each element on top of the grains, layer them as if you are building nachos. It’s a small tweak, but one that makes for an even more satisfying bowl of grains.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1pound cremini or button mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 8to 9 ounces halloumi, torn into bite-size pieces
- 4tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and black pepper
- 1cup pearled barley or farro
- 1cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
- ½cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1 ½to 2 cups thinly sliced raw vegetables (such as brussels sprouts, celery, fennel, cucumbers and radishes)
- ⅓cup torn mint, dill or watercress
Step 1Heat the oven to 425 degrees. On a parchment-lined sheet pan, toss together the mushrooms, scallions, halloumi and 3 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. (The pan might be crowded, but that’s OK.) Roast on the bottom rack until crisp and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
Step 2Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cover the barley with 2 inches of water and season with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, then leave in the strainer to drain again. Hold onto the saucepan; there is no need to wash it at this stage.
Step 3In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt and olives; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Step 4When the mushroom mixture is done roasting, finely grate the zest of the lemon over it and stir to combine. Shake the barley to get rid of any water, then transfer it back to the saucepan, along with the raw vegetables, herbs and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Halve the lemon and squeeze enough juice into the barley mixture until it tastes peppy and fresh (about 2 tablespoons); season to taste with salt and pepper.
Step 5Spoon and spread out a small amount of the barley into bowls, then add small spoonfuls of yogurt and top with a layer of the mushroom mixture. Repeat with another layer of barley, yogurt and mushrooms. Drizzle with olive oil. Leftovers will keep for up to 2 days refrigerated. Adjust seasonings with salt and lemon juice.