Salads for all Seasons
While many will think that salads are only for summertime eating, there are some salads that can be enjoyed all year round and this is just such a salad. The whole grains of barley means that it is a good source of protein and makes a satisfying and filling meal which can easily be enjoyed on cooler days. So it is ideal now the weather is distinctively autumnal and yet you are reluctant to say goodbye to summer dishes completely. But don’t forget it again later It’s strong texture and flavour means that it would equally well stand up to being served with summer barbecues, I rather wished I made it sooner!
I have been experimenting with whole grains recently and have tried this recipe with both Barley and Freekeh. Both work well, Freekeh has the advantage that by using cracked freekeh it can be cooked in about 15 minutes. Barley take substantially longer (about 1 hour) but I rather like the chunky soft to the bite grains of barley that contrast well with the roasted vegetables. Serve as a side dish a light main or even a starter.
- low fat
- low carb
- low cal
- whole grain
- all seasons
An all-season salad which is delicious served as a side, light main dish or starter
- 200 g pearl barley
- 1 aubergine cut into chunks
- 1 large courgette cut into chunks
- 1 bell pepper yellow or red, seeded and cut into chunks
- 4 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
- 20 g flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
- 10 g dill
- 60 g toasted hazelnuts roughly chopped
- 1 small onion very thinly sliced
- 1 red chilli seeded and sliced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic crushed
Preheat the oven to 200℃ (180℃ fan)/400°F/gas mark 6. Place the barley in a large saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. reduce the heat cover and simmer for 1 hour until tender to the bite.
Place the aubergine, courgette and pepper on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2tbsp of the olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes until tender. Set aside until required.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and add the sliced onion, cook gently until softened and beginning to colour. Add the chilli and continue to cook, stirring frequently until the onions are a deep golden brown. Set aside
When the barley is cooked drain and refresh under running cold water for a moment then drain well.
Tip into a large mixing bowl, add the roasted vegetables, chopped herbs and hazelnuts. Season well then toss together until well combined. Transfer to a serving dish.
Scatter the onion and chilli over the top of the salad
To make the Tahini Dressing:
Whisk the tahini together with the garlic, lemon juice and 2 tbsp cold water. Season with salt and pepper. Serve along side the salad.
The salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Nutrition information is approximate and is meant as a guideline only. (It does not include seasoning with salt and pepper.)