Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cool Veg and Grain Salad

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When it's summery and hot.. being in the kitchen cooking hot meals just isn't terribly appealing. Sometimes ice cream for dinner seems to be the only sane option! ;-) But obviously.. that's not terribly healthy. And not very filling either!

So if I know that the next few days are going to be scorchers, like this week, I make up a batch of this salad and stick it in the fridge for quick dinners that are both cool and filling. :-)

It is a little bit spicy, but mostly it is fresh because of the uncooked vegetables. There are a lot of subtle flavours going on - nothing too over powering. And you can always change the amount of spice if you want it  milder (or spicier!)

What you need:
100 ml uncooked pearl barley
a few strands of saffron

1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 fresh chilli, finely chopped
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tin of chickpeas, rinsed
1 tsp lemon juice

3 tomatoes, chopped
4-5 spring onions, mostly the white bit
200 ml frozen peas

How to make it:
Prepare the pearl barley according to the instructions on the pack. Towards the end of the cooking time (10-15 minutes left), throw in the saffron strands so the barley become slightly yellow. The saffron step is optional, but I think it looks pretty when yellow. ;-)

While the barley cooks, prepare everything else:

Sautée the chilli and garlic in the olive oil in a sauce pan. When the garlic becomes fragrant, add the herbs and spices. Stir for a few minutes. Then add the chickpeas and mix it well with the spices etc. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stir occasionally. With a couple of minutes left, add the lemon juice and stir well.

Put the peas, chopped tomatoes and spring onions in a large bowl. You can use the peas straight from the freezer, but I usually put them in a bowl, pour boiling water over and let it stand for a few minutes so the peas are kinda cooked.

When the pearl barley and the chickpea mix are ready, add these to the vegetables in the bowl and mix everything together. And that's it. By the way, the chickpea mix is also delicious on its own!

You can eat this salad in loads of ways. On its own with a bit of bread with hummous as in the photo above.

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With falafel and hummous.

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It's also nice with freshly cooked pasta. Or cold pasta. 

Enjoy! :-)

xo, Carina
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