Barley and Chickpeas with Basil Walnut Pesto


I don’t have much luck gardening or keeping plants around/alive. Last year around this time I grew a hearty bell pepper plant that grew some pretty bland tasting peppers and then was stolen right off our front step. We live in the city, so people walk by our front step on the regular. But who steals a pepper plant?! Probably the same person who just stole my basil plant. Sigh.

Cut organic basil at Trader Joe’s costs pretty much the same as a basil plant, so I bought one a few weeks ago to have fresh basil to add to summery dishes. Days before I wanted to make pesto, my poor basil plant was swiped. So I bought another one. And hid it in a bush. Are people really so desperate they can’t walk two blocks to Trader Joe’s to buy their own?! I hope whoever reaaallyy needed that basil made a mean pesto out of it. I did with my (second) basil plant.

This dish was super rich and creamy and so satisfying from the chickpeas (protein! fiber!) and walnuts (fiber! protein! healthy fats!). As always, my measurements are kinda estimates.

1 package Trader Joe’s quick cooking barley, prepared according to package directions (1.5 cups dry)

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup walnuts

About 1/4c olive oil

A big bunch of basil leaves (probably about a cup packed)

Sea salt to taste

Prepare barley. Once cooked, add in chickpeas.

In a blender or food processor, combine the walnuts, basil, sea salt and olive oil. Blend until you get a relatively smooth consistency. This made about a cup and a half, and I saved 1/3 of the pesto in the freezer for another time.

Mix pesto into barley and chickpeas; serve warm.


  1. Posted September 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    This looks simply delicious! And the best thing? The only thing I need to buy in, is barley! I love how it gets that creamy texture when you cook it for long, don’t mind when they have a bit of bite to them either, love adding it to muchroom soup 🙂

    I hope you have a lovely Wednesday! X J

  2. Posted September 21, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I made this yesterday, but was soon to discover that the food processor was broken!
    So, I just simply added the pesto ingredients to the pan, added a little soy sauce, white wine vinegar, swirled through some chilli powder when serving and bulked it out with mushrooms! Deeeelicious 😀

    Thanks for inspiring 🙂 x J

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