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Twice Cooked Beets with Herbed Yogurt and Crisped Barley

Prep Time - 1 hour 15 minutes | Time To Make - 1 hour 30 minutes

This dish comes from Chef Kevin O’Connor’s cookbook, Chasing Harvest. It is both a meditation on oil and flame and an account of a chef’s search for meaning—one plate of food at a time.


6-8 Medium beets, peeled
to taste Sea Salt
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp White peppercorns
2 Bay Leaves
2 Oranges or mandarins, 1 whole & 1 halved
1 cup Pearled barley
3 cups Water
1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup Roughly chopped herbs like mint, parsley, oregano, chives
1/4 cup Extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling


Toss the beets in olive oil and salt. Transfer to a roasting dish. Scatter the spices and bay leaves. Cut the whole orange into ½ inch pieces and arrange around the beets. Pour water to fill the dish ½ inch. Cover with a layer of baking paper and foil, transfer to the oven and roast for 40-50 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove and cool. Rub off the skins.
In a medium saucepan, cover the barley with the water. With a lid on, simmer for 45 minutes until the barley is tender. Strain off any liquid, then let the barley steam with the lid on for 5-10 minutes. Set aside
Mix the yogurt, herbs, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt together in a bowl. Add the beets and mix well. Set aside in the fridge for 1 hour
Remove the beets and smash into halves or thirds. Toss the beets in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt. Place on a barbecue/griddle at high heat and cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until caramelized. Squeeze over the juice of the orange halves. Cook until the juice bubbles and beets are glazed. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Toss the cooked barley in olive oil. Transfer to the barbecue/griddle and spread out in a thin layer. Toast for 3-4 minutes. or until crispy. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the beets, herbed yogurt and a few extra herb leaves.

The Perfect Gift for Cooks

Explore More with Chef Kevin O’Connor

It would be inaccurate and unfair to say I started this book two years ago; this book really started when I dedicated my life to the kitchens well over a decade ago. I’m beyond happy to share all of these stories with most of you, and equally as scared to showcase a snippet of my life to anyone who may pick up this book.

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