Barley, chickpea and eggplant casserole with parsley pesto

Ready in under an hour


- 11/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

- 1 small (about 350g) eggplant, cut into 2cm pieces

- 1 large red onion, finely chopped 

- 2 large celery sticks, coarsely chopped

- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

- 1 lemon, rind finely grated, juiced

- 150g (3/4 cup) pearl barley, rinsed, drained

- 250ml (1 cup) homemade or reduced-salt vegetable stock

- 400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained

- 2 zucchini, coarsely chopped

- 250g cherry tomatoes, halved

- 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh continental parsley leaves

- 20g (1 ⁄4 cup) finely grated parmesan

- Extra parsley leaves, to serve


1. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a large non-stick saucepan over high heat. Add the eggplant. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tsp of remaining oil, onion and celery. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until vegetables soften. Add garlic and lemon rind. Stir for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add barley, stock and 500ml (2 cups) water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until liquid is almost evaporated and barley is al dente. Add the chickpeas, zucchini, tomato and eggplant. Simmer for 5 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Season.

3. Meanwhile, place parsley, parmesan, 1 tbs lemon juice, remaining oil and 2 tsp water in a small food processor. Process until smooth. Season.

4. Top casserole with pesto and extra parsley.


Energy: 1392 kj

Fat Total: 11g

Saturated Fat: 2.5g

Fibre: 13g

Protein: 12g

Carbs: 39g