The trick here is cooking the barley ahead of time so that all you have to do is assemble the dish and pop in the microwave.
- 3 cups cooked pearl barley, cook in chicken broth for color and flavor
- 3/4 sweet or yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, flavored olive oil works well
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt-free herb seasoning blend
- 3 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, about 3/4 cup shredded or 4 thin slices
- black pepper, to taste
- Step 1
- Spoon cooked barley evenly into the bottom of a microwave-safe, 9-inch deep-dish pie plate (or similar casserole dish). Spread half of the onion slices evenly over the barley. Layer the eggplant slices to cover the barley completely.
- Step 2
- Drizzle eggplant & rice mixture with the olive oil, then sprinkle the Garlic & Herb blend over the top. Spread the remaining onion slices over the top of the eggplant. Cover with a microwave-safe cover and cook on HIGH about 12 minutes (the eggplant should be soft and cooked throughout).
- Step 3
- Layer the sliced or shredded cheese over the top and cook on HIGH, covered or uncovered, for exactly 1 minute longer (just until cheese is nicely melted).
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