Pearl barley tabouleh with marinated feta

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A bit more nutritious and wholesome than regular tabouleh, but a very interesting spin on this dish. The kind of stuff that makes you look forward for your lunch box…

Pearl barley tabouleh with marinated feta (adapted from Yotam Ottolengi’s column in The Guardian)

Ingredients 

  • 40g pearl barley
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp za’atar
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted and crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 80g parsley, leaves and stems
  • 4 spring onions (about 40g in total), finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 40g cashew nuts, lightly toasted and crushed roughly
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice
  • ½ teasponn ground allspice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 60ml olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

Put the pearl barley in a small saucepan, cover with water and boil for 30-35 minutes, until tender but still with a bite. Drain into a fine sieve, shake to remove all the water and transfer to a large bowl.

Break the feta into rough pieces about 2cm in size, and mix in a small bowl with the olive oil, za’atar, coriander seeds and cumin. Gently mix together and leave to marinate while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Chop the parsley finely and place in a bowl with the spring onion, garlic, cashew nuts, green pepper, allspice, lemon juice, olive oil and cooked pearl barley. Mix well together and season to taste.


Tomato galette and roasted spring onions

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The spring onions’ recipe is a courtesy of T.. The tomato galette was a creation of Yotam Ottolenghi for his New Vegetarian column on The Guardian.

Tomato Galette

Ingredients 

  • 375g all-butter puff pastry
  • 8 stalks fresh oregano, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • 100g goat’s cheese, crumbled
  • 450g red, yellow or green tomatoes of various sizes, sliced 2mm thick
  • 8 stalks fresh thyme
  • Olive oil

For the sundried tomato paste

  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes from a jar
  • 1 fresh red chilli, sliced (I use a tea spoon of dried piri piri)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Half tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 200oC/gas mark 6. Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick  (Alternatively, if you have a large enough baking sheet, roll out the pastry into one circle, like a big pizza.) Transfer the pastry rectangles to a large baking sheet lined with baking paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sun-dried tomato paste. Put all the ingredients in the small bowl of a food processor and process to a rough paste; if necessary, add a little oil from the tomato jar to bring it together. If your food processor bowl is too large, you may need to do some of the chopping by hand.

Spread a thin layer of the tomato paste over the chilled pastry, leaving a border about 1cm from the edge. Sprinkle with the oregano and goat’s cheese, and arrange the tomatoes on top, slightly overlapping but not too precisely. Make sure the tomato paste is covered by fresh tomatoes because it tends to burn. Drop the thyme stalks over the tomatoes and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Bake for 15 minutes, until golden on top; check the base to make sure the pastry is brown and fully cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before drizzling over more olive oil and serving warm.

Roasted spring onions

Ingredients

  • Spring onions, cut in half
  • Salt, pepper
  • Olive oil

Method 

Preheat the oven to 200oC. Put the Spring onions on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden on the top.