Barley is making a comeback and all I can say is it’s about time! Barley is a nutritious cereal grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years and has been recorded in some of histories earliest recipes. It is great in all types of dishes from long braises to quick salads and is a forgiving ingredients when it comes to cooking and storing, making it great for anyone wanting to practice and expand their repertoire in the kitchen.
High in fibre, barley has been found to cut your blood sugar response by as much as 44 percent when consumed at the start of your day which will stabilize your energy and hunger levels for the rest of your day, perfect if you are wanting to start a health kick and want to avoid those nasty sugar lows and highs. Barley porridge anyone?
Coming into the colder months of the year I find myself reaching for this ingredient more and more and in this recipe I have used black barley which is an heirloom variety with a subtle nutty flavour and striking colour I prefer to use this in my salads as opposed to normal variety.
2 cups black barley, washed
seeds of 1 pomegranate
1/2 bunch of red kale, washed and stems removed
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp good quality red wine vinegar
Place the barley in a large pot and cover with 6 cups of water and bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer and cooking for 35-45 minutes. Once the barley is cooked, drain and allow to cool before making the salad.
Meanwhile roughly chop the kale into large pieces before adding to a large mixing bowl along with the salt and using your hands massage the kale for 2-3 minutes, you are wanting to bruise the kale a little and rub the salt into the leaves. Add the pomegranate seeds, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar to the kale and toss until everything has an even coating of the dressing. Add the cooled barley to the bowl and toss to combine. Check seasoning and adjust if needed and transfer to a serving bowl.