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I tried this dish at a very reputable vegetarian restaurant - liked the concept but did not like the flavourings. So I thought I would make my own... It is sort of like an alternative shepherds pie but vegan! I served it with steamed broccoli and roasted potatoes - Enjoy!
- Boil the barley until it is soft.
- Meanwhile, begin steaming the sweet potato.
- Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until it has browned.
- Once the barley is soft, add the onion mixture, the mushrooms, the tomatoes and the herbs.
- Transfer it to an oven-proof dish.
- Mash, or puree the sweet potato with the sea salt until it is smooth, thick and creamy.
- Top the barley mixture with the mashed sweet potato.
- Bake in an oven, at 150 degrees Celcius for an hour.
I've not done much cooking with pearl barley, so it always comes as a surprise just how much it expands! And it's sooooo filling too. I realised a little late in the day that if I made the recipe as written, we'd still be eating this come next Christmas! So after a hasty re-think I made a less-barley-more-bake version; in other words, I used the same amount of onion, tomatoes and mushrooms and halved everything else! I must admit I hankered after a bit of cheese, but resisted; I was also tempted to add some Marmite, but I left well alone. This meant that we were able to appreciate the finely tuned combination of flavours from the sweet potato, tomatoes and herbs.