This surprisingly practical and colourful salad was created by my mother in law who were inspired by the results of my experiments with barley.
Pearl barley, with its nutty flavour and firm texture, makes an interesting change from rice in grain-based salads, and it blends beautifully with this mixture of vegetables. Serve this hot as a satisfying main dish or cold as an original, unique, tasty, filling starter. If you cannot stand the taste of barley or have an intolerance to barley, you can choose your own personal grain preference for this salad, swapping in couscous, bulgar wheat or quinoa works just fine, too!
However, be aware that the taste of you salad (depending on the grain you are using) will be different.
Here is my pearl barley salad recipe.
- 100-150g cooked pearl barley
- 1 aubergine (eggplant)
- 1 carrot
- 1 sweet bell pepper
- 1-1,5 -celery stalks (ribs)
- a pinch of jeera (cumin seeds)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 garlic clove
- 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil cold pressed
Cook barley according to package directions in advance and cool completely. Once the eggplant is peeled, slice it and drop eggplant into salted water to remove any bitterness. Cut the bell pepper, carrot and celery into bite-sized pieces. Place carrots mixed with jeera in a large frying pan along with water (as per your choice) and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Then, add to the pan sweet pepper and celery and simmer all the ingredients for another 5 minutes. Finally, add the eggplant and cook all for 5 minutes. Sauté the mixture until the vegetables cooked through. At last, add the pearl barley to the mixture and squeeze the garlic on top. Leave the dish to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Then drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper before serving.
You can also use your favourite herb (parsley, basil, tarragon) to add attractive flavour to the dish.