This one doubles up as a healthy, easy mid-week meal or the perfect accompaniment to a BBQ/ Weekend Roast. This would then have to include BBQ'ing/roasting some good quality meats, maybe some lamb chops, steak...a few meaty burgers (obviously you should cook your veggie option first so not have any accidental meat juices in the meal!) Corn on the cob or thick cut halloumi slices are a great option and the veggie boyfriend would be more than pleased with this! Just showing you quite how versatile this salad this can be!
If you're trying to diet or are just trying to eat healthier, then consider this a good option. You definitely won't be left feeling hungry with this salad but equally you won’t suffer a stodgy carb coma either! The veg count as one if not two of your five a day per serving and what's most important is that you're eating fresh vegetables and loads of them. This is a serious contender for best 'grainy salad dish!'
On another note I love anything that has red or white wine vinegar in it, it adds to the fresh sharp taste to the herbs and combined with lime, helps make salads even zestier! Make this a must to have in your cupboards for the summer, it's perfect for all dressings and salads.
Rye Barley With Courgette, Feta and Crispy Roasted Red Onions, Topped With Mint, Pea, Coriander, Caper and Fresh Lime Dressing.
250g of Rye Barley - cook in water or vegetable stock for 35mins. For every cup of grain add 1.5 of liquid. Cook on high for the quickest cooking time.
50g of Frozen Peas
2 x Courgettes, roughly Sliced onto circles
1 x Red Onion, cut in half then sliced into semi circles
1 x Lime, cut in half and add just before serving
1 x Handful of fresh mint
1 x Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 x Small jar of capers in vinegar
1/2 Pack of feta, crumbled
1 x Pack of asparagus, sliced in half lengthways
1 x Medium red chilli, finely sliced
1 x Soft boiled egg per person (boil for 5-6mins)
Dash of white wine vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Get the oven turned on high - 200 degrees.
While the oven's pre heating, put the barley in water or vegetable stock (I prefer using stock as it adds more flavour whilst the boiling water from the kettle speeds everything up) on the hob and start cooking it. It's quite a hard grain so allow at least 35 minutes for it to cook. Keep the heat on medium to high and top up the water/stock if need be. Taste the grains at around 30mins; they should still have a tiny bit of crunch but be soft enough to enjoy.
Slice the red onion and courgettes as instructed above and add a dash of rapeseed oil, salt and pepper and roast on high - 220 degrees in the oven for 25/30mins. You're aiming for some crunchy onion bits but no burnt ones. Ten minutes before serving the courgettes and onions add the sliced asparagus.
Boil the kettle once again and add to a pan to boil the eggs. I use an egg timer as it seems to work every time. Alternatively concentrate on your attention span and watch the clock for 5-6mins!
TIP- Add the eggs once the water is boiling and use fresh eggs. You'll get the perfect soft boiled egg this way.
Add all the capers, fresh coriander, mint, peas, feta and white wine vinegar to a large bowl along with the cooked barley. Next add your roasted courgettes, onions and asparagus. Mix thoroughly and serve immediately before adding a soft boiled egg to each serving.
Garnish with chilli and extra coriander.
This would works as a solo veggie meal and also teams up really well with lamb chops and anything bbq'd!! Just couldn't help myself!!