Barley and Roasted Zucchini in Lemon Caper Butter Sauce

17 Jul

Pearl barley is a seriously underrated grain.  It’s got a great toothsome texture, absorbs flavors beautifully, and is filling.  It also has loads of dietary fiber, as well as iron and niacin.  Mostly, though, it’s just wholesome and delicious.  This is a very simple grain-based side dish, pumped up with slightly sweet oven-roasted, caramelized zucchini, creamy butter and olive oil, salty caper, and bright and fresh lemon rounded out with some slightly nutty, slightly cheesy Parmesan.  Yum.

Though the pearl barley does take awhile to cook, it’s totally hands off and the active time for this dish clocks in at around 15 minutes, max.  Despite it’s ease, however, it’s really delicious.  And, as a bonus, makes for awesome leftovers because barley reheats particularly well.

Barley and Roasted Zucchini in Lemon Caper Butter Sauce


1 cup pearl barley

6 cups water

1 bay leave

Bring water and bay leaf to a boil over high heat.  Add barley and reduce heat to medium in order to maintain a steady simmer.  Simmer barley for 45 minutes until tender and most of water is absorbed.  Set aside.

Roasted Zucchini:

1 medium zucchini, cut into 3/4″ cubes (about 3 cups)

3-4 tbs. olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°.

 On a tinfoil-lined baking sheet, toss zucchini with olive oil, salt, and pepper until coated.

Transfer to oven and bake 25-30 minutes, tossing a few times to ensure even cooking, until edges are golden brown and zucchini is tender.  Set aside.

Barley and Roasted Zucchini in Lemon Caper Butter Sauce:

Barley, from above

Roasted Zucchini, from above

2 tbs. butter

2 tbs. olive oil

1 lemon, juiced and zested

1 tbs. capers

3-4 tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and butter over medium-low heat until butter is melted.  Whisk in lemon juice and capers.  Add barley and zucchini and toss to coat with sauce.  Add a tbs. or two of the cheese and stir to combine.  Cook, stirring frequently, until barley and zucchini are heated through.  Serve immediately topped with remaining cheese.

One Response to “Barley and Roasted Zucchini in Lemon Caper Butter Sauce”


  1. Geauga Family Farms Summer CSA – Week Two « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - July 21, 2012

    […] we didn’t use was the beet tops, which dried out really quickly and I had to toss.  The barley and roasted zucchini in lemon caper butter sauce made use of the zucchini, and it was incredibly sweet and tender.  Naturally, the blueberry jam […]

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