The perfect winter salad. It’s super filling and full of ingredients that should be relatively cheap to get your hands on right now, which is always a plus. Oh and it tastes delicious! Why would you eat it otherwise?
This is one of those salads that is filling enough to have by itself has a vegetarian meal but also works really well as a side or as part of a banquet. For example it would be brilliant with this mince, beans and hummus dish along side as the flavours would be perfect together.
The chilli oil mentioned can be replaced with more olive oil if you’re not about the spice but I think sweet vegetables like parsnip and carrot are just begging for some heat. I make my own chilli oil but half filling a jar with dried chilli flakes and then topping it up with oil. If you let this sit for an hour it’ll be ready to use. The longer you leave (i’m talking days and weeks) the more flavour the oil will soak up.
Feel free to use quinoa or another gluten free grain instead of pearl barley. I love the nutty texture with the sweet, spiced vegetables and salty feta.
serves 4 or more as a side dish
2 cups pearl barley
6 cups water
3 parsnips (cut into 4-6cm x 2cm sticks)
4 carrots (cut into 4-6cm x 2cm sticks)
2 tbs thyme
2 tbs oregano
2 tsp paprika
2 tbs chilli oil
2 tsp cumin
1 tbs sesame seeds
1 garlic clove
1 tbs tahini
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs greek yoghurt
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup roasted walnuts
1 cup chopped celery top
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped dill
2 tbs feta
Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray.
Rinse pearl barley well. Combine it with the 6 cups of water, add a generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil Once boiling turn down to a simmer and continue to cook for 35 minutes or until al dente. Drain off any excess water. Set aside.
In a bowl combine the carrots, parsnip, thyme, oregano, cumin, paprika and chilli oil. Toss to coat and then spread evenly in oven tray. Roast for 20 minutes then add garlic clove and sesame seeds. Roast for a further 20 minutes or until tender and starting to colour. Set aside. Reserve roasted garlic.
Combine roasted garlic, yoghurt, lemon juice, tahini and a pinch each of pepper and salt. Whisk well until smooth. Set aside.
Combine pearl barley, parsley, dill, celery, roughly chopped, walnuts, olive oil, lemon zest and feta. Toss well to evenly combine. Add roasted vegetables and gently toss. Taste, season.
Serve on a platter drizzled in tahini dressing.