This week our Source of Inspiration is Barley. This grain is similar to wheat in appearance, and is commonly used for both food and beer production.
Barley has a low GI (glycaemic index), is delicious in salads and is used as a starch instead of rice or potatoes.
In beer production, it is made into malt. Barley is soaked to germinate and then dried. During this process, the barley converts its starches into simple sugars, which provides the perfect source of sugar to be consumed by yeast in the fermentation process.
Malted barley and other grains are also used to make malted drinks like Horlicks and Maltesers!
Here is a tasty recipe using pearl barley which you could either add to your Meat Free Monday collection or serve as a side dish.
Warm Pumpkin and Pearl Barley Salad
3/4 lb (350g) of barley pearled
1/2 butternut squash (350g of flesh)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 sprig of dill
1/3 cup (40g) pecans
1 untreated orange
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon cream of white balsamic vinegar
1. Cook barley in boiling salted water. Then drain and keep aside.
2. Meanwhile, peel the halved butternut squash, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into small cubes.
3. Heat a pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add squash cubes and cook for 15 minutes over high heat, stirring regularly. Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and continue stirring.
4. Add 2 tablespoons of canola oil and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Don’t add salt because the soy sauce is already salty.
5. In a large bowl, pour the cooked pearl barley, add the orange zest and juice.
6. Add 2 tbsp oil and the cream of balsamic vinegar. Add the diced squash and half the chopped sprig of dill. Open the pomegranate and collect the seeds by hitting the top with a tablespoon over the bowl.
7. Fry the pecans for 3-4 minutes, chop them coarsely and add to the salad.
8. Mix all ingredients, add salt and pepper and serve warm.