If you thought roasted celeriac, lentils, hazelnuts and mint were an odd combination for a salad… a delicious salad, at that… what about this one?
With a such crazy combination of ingredients in this barley salad – pomegranate, dill, allspice – I’ll give you one guess as to where this recipe came from. Not to throw you off, I added the snap peas.
Your one guess….. Ottolenghi? You’d be right!
Ottolenghi has this way of mixing flavours in the most unusual combinations. I often wonder what kind of mania is happening in his head. Flight of ideas? At least the recipes are tested before they hit the press, though. Right? Right?
This is an unusual salad, which Ottolenghi wrote in Plenty (recipe posted here). It is a nice wholesome salad, with an extra dimension from the allspice and dill. Ottolenghi advises to cook the barley in plenty of water, but I find this creates a more mushy consistency. Instead I prefer to boil it with a 2:1 ratio of vegetable broth. I also prefer to toast my barley to accentuate its nuttiness. My other adaptations were to decrease the dressing and scrap the parsley altogether. The salad is overflowing with pomegranate arils which offers a sweet crunch, countered by the nutty barley, and accentuated by the earthy allspice and bright dill. The sugar snap peas also add a nice sweet crunch and we can always use more veggies.
While I like to rotate my grains, I am particularly fond of quinoa and eager to try my hand at Kate’s version of this recipe with quinoa and balsamic vinegar.
Pomegranate, Snap Pea and Barley Salad with Dill and Allspice
1 cup pot barley, lightly toasted
2 cups vegetable broth or water
2 cups sugar snap peas, rimmed and chopped (200g prepped)
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 cloves garlic, pressed or crushed
2/3 tsp allspice
3 tbsp chopped dill
1.5 cups pomegranate seeds (2 large pomegranates, 300g)
salt & pepper, to taste
1. In a medium skillet over low heat, toast barley until lightly browned and fragrant. Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add toasted barley and simmer for 45-60 minutes. Check at 40 minutes and cook until it reaches your desired consistency. I like my barley with a bit of a bite if using it in a salad.
2. When the barley is done, remove from heat and drain any excess liquid. While still hot, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the sugar snap peas, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, allspice and some salt & pepper, to taste. Stir then leave to cool down completely (but don’t refrigerate).
3. Once cool add the dill and pomegranate seeds and mix. Adjust seasoning to your liking and serve.