Today is a good day. Let me tell you why:
AJ and I are heading up to Tahoe (California’s playground, for those of you from other states) tonight, with an overnight stop at AJ’s parents’ house.
That means we get to eat a home-cooked meal that I don’t have to make, we get to go play outside, and I get to relax a little bit more than usual.
This is definitely not the prime time for us to be taking a vacation, but we could really use it. We’ll only be gone for a few days, so what can it hurt?
On top of the excited anticipation that I’m feeling for our upcoming trip, it’s also a good day because I made this roasted vegetable grain bowl thingamabob for dinner last night.
It has fennel in it. And I ate it. And I liked it.
guacamole fennel! I will be the first person to tell you that I don’t like fennel. I’m NOT a licorice fan, and when I feel like someone stuck licorice all up in my nice veggies, then I get really offended.
But apparently, when you roast fennel, 95% of the licorice-y-ness goes away, leaving behind just enough to actually be tasty.
I roasted the fennel with some carrots and Brussels sprouts, because these vegetables are mandatory at almost all meals served during the fall harvest season, and especially at Thanksgiving.
When they were done roasting, I tossed them with some cooked barley and drizzled a sesame sage dressing all over them.
The amount of dressing was kind of excessive. The amount of delicious was equally so.
This dish would make an amazing vegetarian or vegan main dish for Thanksgiving, or it would also be perfect as a side. Really, with a dish this simple and pretty, you just can’t go wrong.Print
Sesame Sage Roasted Vegetables with Barley
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
This is the perfect fall meal! With fennel, carrots, and Brussels sprouts, it makes a great vegetarian or vegan main dish, or could be used as a side.
For the Dish:
- 1 bulb fennel
- 1 bunch carrots (about 10 small or 6 medium)
- 3 cups Brussels sprouts
- 3–4 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 8 oz par-cooked barley
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- Fresh sage leaves
For the Dressing:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp ground sage
- 1/8 tsp ground coriander
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 450°F (400°F if you’re using convection).
- Slice the tops off the fennel without cutting into the bulb itself, and cut off the base of the bulb. Slice it in half from top to bottom, then cut into 1/2″ wedges, using the center core as the pivot.
- Cut the carrots in half lengthwise. If your carrots are thick, cut in half lengthwise again. Aim to get all your carrots to be about the same width so they cook evenly.
- Trim the Brussels sprouts and cut in half through the stalk.
- Place all the veggies in a 9×13″ baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, then use your hands to distribute the oil. Bake for about 1 hour (50 mins for convection), tossing halfway through, until the veggies are easily pierced with a fork.
- While the veggies cook, combine all the ingredients for the dressing and mix with a fork.
- Also cook the barley – bring a pot of water to boil and add the barley. Cook for 10 minutes and drain.*
- When the veggies are done roasting, combine them with the barley, then drizzle the dressing on top. Toss a bit and serve topped with sliced cherry tomatoes and pomegranate arils. Garnish with fresh sage leaves.
Depending on the barley you use, these instructions may vary. Check the package and cook according to package directions.
Serving size is based on a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner, where there are many dishes. If you are making this as a main dish, it’ll likely provide about 4 portions.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Vegetables
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Vegan
Keywords: side dish, barley, fennel, Brussels sprouts, vegan
What will you serve alongside these delicious vegan grain bowls? And how will you change up the recipe to make it your own? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it!
For even more veggie goodness, some of these delicious roasted recipes should trip your trigger:
Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on November 12, 2015. Last updated: December 31, 2019 at 5:36 am.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).
23 thoughts on “Sesame Sage Roasted Vegetables with Barley”
This is amazing Raquel! I’d definitely finish (start?) my holiday shopping — and maybe pick up a few small things for myself as well 🙂
If you win, you DEFINITELY need to use a bit of it on yourself. You have to! Thanks for commenting, Jenny 🙂
Who says you can’t enjoy healthy foods for Thanksgiving! This looks delicious. Beautiful photos too.
Thanks so much, Leslie! 🙂
gorgeous pics! and this looks delish!
Thanks so much, Erin!! 🙂
I can’t wait to try your roasted veggies dish. I love everything about your dish except the brussel sprouts. but every holiday dinner everyone has to eat at least one brussel sprouts. So I can’t wait to try your recipe. This recipe might just change the way i feel about brussel sprouts.
Thanks, Debbie! I used to hate brussels sprouts, also, until I tried roasting them. They are so much better when roasted instead of steamed!
I would probably start with a new selection of cookbooks and then buy some winter boots (which I really need!) and maybe find some new motivation with a few pairs of the workout pants that I always say are too expensive!
Donna – you are a woman after my own heart! That’s EXACTLY what I would do with the gift card, too. Good luck!
My Kindle is dying and I would love to get the new Kindle Voyage!
That would be such a good way to use this gift card! I hope you win!
Gorgeous post, Raquel! Super glad to be doing this giveaway with you. Now if you’ll excuse, I have to wipe the drool off my face after looking at these photos.
Haha! Thanks so much, Marissa! 🙂
This recipe looks delicious, especially the dressing!! Sesame, dijon, and Sage……YUM!! I hope you have a great time in Tahoe 🙂
Thanks so much, Monique! Tahoe is awesome – I love it up here! 🙂
I often roast veggies and serve them over farro. It’s a frequent dinner for us. I was just working on my menu plan for next week, and was planning my standard veggies, but now that I’ve seen this, I’m going to switch it up a little and make your recipe. It will be a nice change….different veggies, different grain…and my kids are going to love the pomegranate seeds!
Those vegetables are beautiful! I love roasted veggies and now I want to try them with barley! Have fun playing in the snow!
Thanks so much, Rachelle! We went for a walk in the snow this morning, which was so fun. It’s not often we get to play in it!
These photos are absolutely gorgeous! We just moved from out of state, so I would definitely round out my kitchen and pantry. I’d also get a pair of non-slip winter boots for my first time living in snow!
Thanks so much, Nicole! Where did you move to the snow? I’ve also never lived in the snow, and it’s a dream of mine. Anyone who actually lives in the snow probably thinks I’m crazy, but I think it would be so cool! 🙂
I would use the Amazon gift card to purchase a kitchenaid mixer and a set of cookware.
That would be the perfect way to use the gift card, Charles! I’m rooting for you!