Barley and Walnut Wraps


Cook the grain: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Stir in barley and salt and bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes. At this point, test a cooled grain by chewing it. Keep cooking and checking every 10 minutes until the grain is al dente. (Don’t overcook grains until they are soft or, worse, mushy.) Drain and rinse with cool water. Set aside to drain and cool completely.

Combine green onions, cucumber, pepper, beans, cabbage, herbs, and walnuts—or experiment with your own fillings—in a large bowl. Add cooled grains and toss to mix well. Taste and add salt if required.

Heat the tortillas by lightly toasting them in a skillet (Alternatively, wrap them in tinfoil and warm for 20 minutes in a preheated 300°F oven.) Lay one tortilla on a clean work surface.

Use a large spoon or 1-cup measuring cup to scoop 1 cup of filling into the center of the tortilla. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons tahini sauce over the top.

(And now for the fun part!) Fold each end of the tortilla (top and bottom) over the filling. Then fold the right side over the filling and spin the tortilla one-quarter turn to the right. Using two hands, gently pull the covered filling toward you to make a tight roll. Roll the filled half of the tortilla away from you and over the rest of the tortilla. Secure with toothpicks if you like.

You’ve Got Options

If ever there were a totally egalitarian recipe, this is it! This recipe designed as a starting point for building your very own wonder wrap, and it pales to what you can dream up.

Grains are essential in burritos and wraps, so experiment. Rice is the obvious choice, but barley (Scotch and pot barley have more of the outer husk than pearl barley), spelt, and wheat berries have a nutty flavor and a chewy texture. If using rice, it should be cooked al dente after 20 minutes, and whole wheat berries after another 40 or 50 minutes.

Try brown rice, whole wheat, or corn tortillas.

Makes 4 to 6 Wraps


  • 1 cup barley (see options)

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 green onions, chopped

  • 1 cucumber or ½ English cucumber, diced

  • 1 red, yellow, or green bell pepper, seeded and diced

  • 1 cup cooked black beans or chickpeas

  • ½ cup finely shaved red or green cabbage

  • ½ cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, thyme, parsley, mint, and dill, in any combination)

  • ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts

  • Sea salt (optional)

  • 4 to 6 (10-inch) tortillas (see options)

  • ½ to ¾ cup tahini sauce

From “The Reducetarian Cookbook: 125 Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for Omnivores, Vegans, and Everyone In-Between” by Reducetarian Foundation (Center Street, $21.99). Recipe developed by Pat Crocker. Photo by Ashleigh Amoroso.