|Red Bell Pepper||1.00||Each||$1.16|
|Fava Beans||1.00||Can (20 oz.)||$0.99|
|Ras al Hanout||1.00||Tbsp||$0.03|
|Lemon zest and juice||1.00||Each||$0.00|
The key to this dish is to buy your ingredients at a local specialty market where you can get weird, cheap food. The most expensive item was the red bell pepper that I had to buy at Trader Joe's for over $1/pepper. The barley is something imported from the middle east and is the tiniest, finest barley you can imagine, having nothing in common with the huge grains of US pearled barley. The favas are a non-standard 20 ounce can. Smaller cans cost about 79 cents. My lemon came from my own tree, so was free. I'm really lucky to have a Meyer lemon in my backyard, even if it means washing off the bird poop.
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in heavy bottomed sauce pan, and add the barley. Stir until the barley begins to smell good and some of the grains are getting toasted. Pour in the stock and bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the barley is tender, about 30 minutes for fine barley.
- While the barley cooks, chop up the bell pepper, the parsley, the apricots and the green onions and stir them up well in a bowl. Add the lemon zest and pistachios. Drain and rinse the favas, then stir them in.
- When the barley is done, dump in colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain very well and add to the bowl. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and stir well to distribute ingredients. Pour lemon juice in and stir some more. Sprinkle ras-al-hanout spice mix over the top with salt to taste and mix again.
- Let this sit in the fridge for the day to let flavors blend. Pull out an hour before serving and allow to come to room temperature. Add salt, more lemon juice and olive oil to taste at the table.
Ras-al-hanout is a spice mix that is slightly different depending on who mixed it up. Search for a recipe - you'll find dozens - and pick the one that has a spice mix that appeals to you. The mix I use is:
- 1 tsp each ground black pepper and cardomom
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp each red pepper (like cayenne), ground ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon
I like using the combination of barley and favas. It has a really good texture and is very cheap.