Meg’s Easter Barley Salad

12 05 2010

I’m not sure where Meg found this (she’s the creative one, slash brilliant wedding photographer slash soon to be mum) but she brought it round for our roast lamb Easter Sunday dinner this year, and I’ve been making versions of it ever since. It’s a little bit high maintenance, but once you’ve got the knack of it you can pull it together fairly easily, and it’s so worth it. It goes beautifully with pretty much everything – roasts, lamb chops, on its own or with chicken flatties on the braai, (or bbq if you’re not from Southern Africa).

You can choose to leave out the chilli if you think you can’t stand the heat (I won’t tell you to get out of the kitchen) BUT being a little chilli shy myself, I can honestly say that in this case it adds a delicious kick.

Delicious Easter (and anytime with anything) Barley Salad
Serves 6 | Preparation time 30 minutes | Cooking time 30 minutes

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
250g / 1 cup pearl barley
1 red onion, chopped
1 cup peeled and diced butternut (roughly 1cm cubes)
Half a red pepper, core and seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 ripe avocado, chopped
Half tub cherry or rosa tomatoes, sliced in half
200g green beans, chopped into about 1 inch sticks
About 100g Mozarella or Feta, roughly chopped or shredded
1 handful each of: Fresh mint, coriander, parsley and rocket all roughly chopped
2 or 3 sticks of celery, chopped
1  baby cucumber (regular English cucumber is also fine), chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp dried chilli or 1 fresh chilli de-seeded
8 Tbsp olive oil
8 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp honey

WHAT TO DO
The barley
Add 1 cup barley to 3 cups boiling water in a pot and simmer gently until the water has evaporated, about 30 minutes.
When the barley is cooked, rinse under luke-warm water in a colander and set aside.

The rest
1. Fry the onions lightly in butter with a sprinkle of sugar until golden brown
2. Roast the butternut at 180C for about 20 minutes (or microwave on high for about 5 minutes until soft)
3. Steam or boil the green beans for just 3-4 minutes, rinse under cold water and set aside
4. Toss the remaining ingredients together in a nice large serving bowl, adding 1 clove chopped garlic

The dressing
In a pan heat the olive oil, chilli and remaining clove of garlic together
Remove from stove top and add the honey
When cooled, add the red wine vinegar and then stir the dressing through the salad.

Variations: This really is one of those dishes that you can add anything to, including chicken or bacon, whole kernel sweet corn, asparagus, broccoli… endless options. Also, it keeps really well in the fridge for up to 3 days afterwards. I would just suggest tossing out the avo if you want to recycle it.

Rob’s rating: ‘for a salad, this gets an 8/10’



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7 responses

12 05 2010
Jenna Penna Hutchings

I wish that we could give these recipes a rating! Do you have an iPhone application? If not, please invest so that we can have virtual dinners together!

12 05 2010
afoodieliveshere

Ah thanks Jen Pen my pal! My first post! Woohoo! 🙂 Watch this space for the iPhone app! haha! I would LOVE to have a virtual dinner with you – and even better to have the real deal in a few weeks, yay! Miss you xxxx

14 05 2010
Lucy

This is awesome! I totally LOVE what you are doing and thank you for making such an amzing, inspirational blog. Thank you for trying everything first. Thank you for admitting that you didn’t know the difference between phyllo and puff (makes me feel more human when I repeatedly use cake flour, plain flour and self raising flour at the wrong times – eek :).
Wow you’ve inspired me now to get cooking!
Can you get photos on here or not?

14 05 2010
afoodieliveshere

Ah hello Lu! THANK YOU KINDLY!! Photos are phase 2 🙂 So glad you like it, and if it inspires you to cook well then that’s the best part! Enjoy! Love me xxx

14 05 2010
Kimbo

OK, this ROCKS! I of course did some variations – main one being that instead of doing different things to all the veggies, I just threw them in a grill pan thing and let them braai for a few mins.. I still caramelised the onions though. The grilled taste of the toms and green beans were awesome, and also the butternut! I put a baby marrow in too. The fresh uncooked garlic makes it very aromatic in a yummo (yes I take that from Rachel Ray) way. The dressing is phenomenal! We served with grilled mielies and local Colorado grassfed lambchops….seriously one of the best combo’s we’ve had in a while. Thanks Goony and Meg for the GR8 recipe!!!

17 05 2010
Baked Chocolate Orange Pots « afoodieliveshere's blog

[…] of wine and good chats (after the show of course). The five of us being Mike and Meg of earlier Barley Salad fame, who also happen to live just one house down from us, Rob and I, and then Michael Jenkins aka […]

14 06 2010
Beautiful Butter Chicken Bunny Chow « afoodieliveshere's blog

[…] apart. I must also add that they are not, however, your proverbial desperate housewives. Meg of the barley salad fame I have introduced to you before, and Mel is already Mum to the adorable Lana and is a fabulous […]

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