This was a very nice, healthful dish, and it was very easy to make. It was very good as-is, but next time I think I will experiment with some more spices (probably of the Italian variety) and I will add at least half of the parsley after the casserole is done cooking. By the way, I used regular barley (not the quick-cooking kind), and it worked just fine. Thanks for sharing this!
I wavered between 5 stars and 4 stars, but finally chose 5. Anyways, I made some changes to this- left out all added salt, and didn't use canned foods. I also used water instead of oil. I didn't chop with cheese, and this was still pretty dang good for a healthy food item. Because I'm an idiot and didn't have basil, I used toni gifford's suggestion of chili powder, which I highly reccomend. I used 1 tsp, but next time I'll probably use like 1 and half. This froze pretty well, and I have plenty left over- this entire recipe made abou 13 cups; the casserole was full! Anyways, thanks for the recipe.
OMG I'm so surprised this has not been reviewed before now. I just loved this one as it includes many of my favorite ingredients. The color contrast from the greens (veggies and parsley), reds (beans & tomatoes) and tan (barley) made this dish look as appealing as it tasted. Moreover for me its a great map for all sorts of nice variations. Tonight I tossed in a small sliced zucchini and three sliced mushrooms in a effort to clear the produce bin before going on a trip. I also added a clove of minced garlic to the onions, celery and peppers. Finally, I should mention that I only used 1 tablespoon of oil which was just fine. Next time, I think I'm going to replace the basil with chili powder and the parley with cilantro. Should also note that this makes huge portions. I made half the recipe and its enough for 3 lunches or 4 entrees. Thanks Rita!