Barley is such an underused grain. It’s unexpected, meaty, earthy and soaks up all the delicious dressing plus it makes this salad a filling vegetarian meal. Mix and match the vegetables to suit what is in season.
1 cup pearled barley
3 cups water
1/4 pumpkin, cut into 2 cm cubes
2 zucchini, cut into slices
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed and halved
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
100g feta cheese
1/2 garlic clove, finely grated
juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon seeded mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Place the barley and water into a large pot and place covered over a high heat. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and leave a small crack in the lid to let the steam escape. Simmer for 45 minutes or until the barley is cooked through. Drain and rinse through a colander, set aside.
Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 180°C. Place the chunks of pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Drizzle a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper then bake for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes has elapsed add the rest of the vegetables to the tray, tossing with a little extra olive oil and seasoning. Bake for another 10 minutes until the zucchini have some colour, the asparagus are still a little crisp and the tomatoes have begun to collapse.
Place the garlic, lemon juice, mustard, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper into the bottom of a large bowl. Whisk together to combine the dressing. Add the barley and the roasted vegetables. Toss to combine.
To serve transfer the salad to a serving bowl or platter. Top with chunks of feta cheese.
Kristy is a mother of three who loves feeding her family wholesome, nutritious and above all delicious food. She has her own food blog called The Life She Made where she posts family style recipes and talks about life as a stay at home mother.