July’s Salad: Feta, Pearl Barley, Courgette, Asparagus & Pomegranate

July is the time for courgettes, asparagus, pomegranate and spinach (according to the site I use: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/seasonal-calendar/all ). And they all work surprisingly well together- so they’re all in this salad. Chuck in some feta for creaminess, and some pearl barley, and you’re good to go. Pearl barley, by the way, is one of my favourite new ingredients. My flatmate used to cook pearl barley occasionally last year, and though I initially couldn’t be arsed waiting for it to cook (bulgur wheat, quinoa- or even rice- cooks faster), with a little bit of forward planning I’ve finally used it. In the name of time though, feel free to sub in bulgur, quinoa, rice, or even chunks of sweet potato…
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 courgette, made into ribbons using a peeler
  • Handful of asparagus (4 spears, roughly), each cut into about 4-5 pieces
  • 30g feta, crumbled
  • 2tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 40g dried pearl barley
  • 1 large handful of spinach leaves
  • To taste: black pepper, dried chilli flakes
 
Method
  • Begin by preparing the pearl barley according to the packet instructions. This takes a while to cook- about 30 minutes- and so once there’s about 10 minutes remaining begin prepping every thing else…
  • In a large non-stick pan, over a medium heat, begin to cook the asparagus. Lightly sauté for 1-2 minutes, and then add in the courgette. Cook for another 2 minutes over the same heat.
  • Empty the pearl barley into a large mixing bowl, and then add the asparagus and courgette, followed by half of the pomegranate seeds. Toss together.
  • Wilt the spinach in the same pan you used for the asparagus and courgette, and then transfer to a plate. Empty the pear barley mixture on top of the spinach, and then top with the remaining pomegranate seeds and crumbled feta…
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