Fresh herbs enliven this easy baked eggplant dish topped with the nutty bite of a warm barley salad.


  • 4 eggplants, halved lengthways
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red capsicum, halved
  • 1 cup (225g) pearl barley, rinsed, drained
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton), plus extra to serve
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Handful rocket leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 150g feta, crumbled


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Place eggplant, cut-side down, on the tray, then brush with 1 tablespoon oil and bake for 15 minutes. Add capsicum, cut-side down, brush with 2 teaspoons oil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until tender. Remove seeds from capsicum, then cut flesh into 1cm pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the barley in a saucepan of boiling, salted water for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool slightly.
  3. Whisk spices, juice, zest and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl. Place barley, capsicum, rocket and herbs in a large bowl, then drizzle over dressing. Season and toss to combine. Place eggplant, cut-side up, on plates, then top with the barley salad and feta, then sprinkle with extra smoked paprika.