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Baked Green Barley and Kale with Lemon Tahini Sauce

Flavorful, textural and colorful—baked green barley and kale with lemon tahini sauce has it going on. Green? Yes! Wait ‘til you taste its savory goodness. Wait ‘til those lovely green barley pearls roll all around in your mouth—can food be this fun to eat? OK—don’t wait, dive in, this dish surprises.

close up of plated Baked Green Barley and Kale with bites out and fork

A bright puree of pungent-sweet kale gets stirred into chewy-soft barley nuggets, paint them green. Lace that combo with golden umami mushrooms and garlic, and lemon zest. Give it time in the oven for crunch around the edges. The final flourish—a bright tasting creamy sauce of tahini and lemon.

browned mushrooms in sauté pan

When the green-barley-mushroom-garlic-lemon wonderfulness goes in the oven, whisk up the lemon tahini sauce. Ta-da! Green barley and kale with lemon tahini sauce for dinner!

Baked Green Barley and Kale overhead with 5 plates

Green Barley and Kale recipe details:

  • Lemon zest, fresh garlic, and minced parsley, the three together, are the classic seasoning known as You’ll love the punch gremolata flavors give to barley and kale.
  • Use your favorite purchased vegetable broth or make your own. My go-to vegetable broth comes from this quality powdered vegetable broth. (Affiliate link.)
  • Sharp white cheddar pairs nicely with kale and we almost always have some on hand. The original recipe calls for Gruyère or provolone.
  • For a completely plant-based vegan dish, take away the cheese, instead stirring in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  • Bake green barley and kale as one casserole or in individual molds or 4 to 6 ounce ramekins. (Affiliate link.) (I used coffee cups!)
  • Check out the green color before baking. Vivid, huh? When baked, the color comes out darker green. It’s still striking.

This is my adaptation of the green barley and kale gratin in Deborah Madison’s classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. (Affiliate link.) I’ve added mushrooms to the mix, plus lemon, garlic, and parsley. Instead of butter, my version calls for olive oil, and vegetable broth instead of milk.

Green Barley and Kale in cups ready to bake

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  • Like it. Want to try this soon! May be I will add some Indian spice! How that sounds? 😉 Reply · 2 February, 2016

    • I love the idea of Indian spices Uma! Reply · 2 February, 2016

  • Green kale and golden mushrooms! This is my kind of rainbow. GREG Reply · 6 February, 2016

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