14 Jun 2015
roast veg + barley warm salad
This is what it was - one of my favourite dishes - a chunky, substantial, vegie-filled salad. There were sticks of carrot and wedges of red onion, roasted til tender and flavoured with warm spices; I could detect cumin. There was pearl barley, and this was the big surprise for me, because I think of barley as an ingredient for soup, not salad. I loved it in this incarnation. These were all tossed with lots of leafy fresh greens, beautifully dressed, and finished with dabs of creamy-salty fetta. It was filling and light at the same time.
This being Hobart in the wintertime though, where we've already had frosts and days where temperatures have barely scraped into the double digits, a cold salad was not going to be on the menu. I need hot food!
So I mixed it up a bit. I roasted a large tray of carrots and a delicious ironbark pumpkin (both from dad) plus some stalks from a broccoli I had in the fridge. I drizzled these with oil and dusted them with a Moroccan spice mix I bought back from a Sydney spice shop. I omitted the red onion simply because ... I forgot to buy one. Next time! I roasted these on a slower than usual temperature (160) and they came out flavoursome and tender.
Meanwhile I cooked a cup of pearl barley in my rice cooker. This stuff is so good - I have found a new favourite wholegrain; it now has a prime location in my pantry alongside the brown rice and quinoas.
Then instead of salad greens, I shredded and lightly steamed a big bunch of silverbeet (again from my parents).
Then I tumbled all these cooked ingredients together, dressed the big bowl of colour simply with olive oil and lemon juice, daubed the dish with some Danish fetta, and added my own flourish, a sprinkling of crunchy black sesame seeds.
I'm sorry I forgot to take a pic of the final dish. But trust me, it made for a wonderful week of working lunches, back here in Hobart! A delicious winter version of the Sydney original. It ticks so many boxes: effortless to make, full of flavour and so healthy. I know it will definitely be a regular in my repertoire now.