Pearl barley and apple salad

Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow
Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow 

Pearl barley has been milled to remove its hull and bran. It has a pleasantly chewy texture and a nutty taste. It can be added to soups to thicken and flavour them, and is also good in salads, as here.


3 large pink lady apples, peeled

150 ml (5 fl oz) olive oil

2 1/4 teaspoons sugar

300 g (10 1/4 oz/1 1/4 cups) pearl barley

100 g (3 1/2 oz) prosciutto, thinly sliced and coarsely torn

100 g (3 1/2 oz) wild rocket (arugula)

80 ml (2 1/2 fl oz/ 1/3 cup) balsamic vinegar

150 g (5 1/2 oz) blue cheese, coarsely crumbled


1. Remove the cores from the apples and cut the apples in half lengthways. Cut each half into four wedges and place in a bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle over the sugar then toss to coat. Preheat a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the apple mixture and cook, turning often, for 10-12 minutes, or until tender and golden. Cool.

2. Meanwhile, cook the barley in a saucepan of boiling water for 35 minutes or until tender, then drain well and cool to room temperature.

3. Preheat a grill (broiler) to high, put the prosciutto in the grill tray and grill for 1-2 minutes, turning halfway through, until crisp.

4. Combine the roast apples, barley, prosciutto and rocket in a large bowl and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over the remaining oil and the balsamic vinegar and gently toss to combine. Transfer to a large bowl or platter, scatter the cheese over and serve immediately.