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About this recipe: Pearl barley, with its nutty flavour and firm texture, makes an interesting change from rice in grain-based salads, and it blends beautifully with this mixture of vegetables, sweet dried apricots and pumpkin seeds. Serve this as a satisfying lunch dish, adding some crumbled cheese such as feta for additional protein.
Bulghur wheat can be used instead of pearl barley. Soak the bulghur wheat in plenty of cold water for 15 minutes, then drain thoroughly in a sieve. Tip the bulghur onto a clean tea-towel, gather up the towel around it and squeeze out excess moisture. The soaked bulghur does not need cooking. * Use frozen vegetables instead of fresh – try one of the many mixtures available, such as frozen summer vegetables with peas, sweetcorn, red pepper and baby carrots. Cook in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain well. * Replace the pumpkin seeds with toasted sunflower seeds, or use coarsely chopped roasted peanuts or cashew nuts. * Other grains to try in this salad include quinoa or buckwheat, both available from healthfood stores. Couscous is also suitable. Prepare according to the packet instructions.
Like other cereals, pearl barley is an excellent starchy carbohydrate. It is also low in fat. * Broccoli is an excellent source of beta-carotene and vitamins C and E. It also provides B6, folate and niacin. * Dried apricots provide vitamin A (from beta-carotene).
C * B1, E, folate, niacin, copper, iron * A, B2, B6, calcium, potassium, zinc