This warm, wintery salad could easily take centre stage at Sunday lunch, or be shared mid-week with friends, a glass of red in hand! You can use any combo of seasonal root veggies – just aim for around 750-850 grammes in total.
The dressing is a keeper. It works beautifully on all sorts of salads, so bookmark it for summer. Imagine splashing it on a rocket, parmesan and pine nut salad or tossing through cooked rice to amp up the flavour.
Hearty, wholesome and budget friendly, we know you’ll love this one.
With love from the Winter Palace
You will need
1 cup raw barley
3 cups water
3 stock cubes or stock sachets*
1 medium sweet potato or butternut, peeled and cubed into roughly 2 cm cubes
± 400 g fresh beetroot, peeled and cubed into roughly 2 cm cubes
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into chunks
±200 g bright carrots, sliced down the middle with carrot tops attached
150 g feta cheese
50 g nuts or seeds – we used pumpkin and sunflower seeds (toasted in a pan) but walnuts, pecan and hazelnuts can work just as well, roughly chopped
25 g fresh flat leaf parsley, washed and chopped (keep a few sprigs spare for garnish)
*If you would prefer to make this dish without store-bought stock, you can place one bouquet garni (a bunch of aromatic herbs including a few sprigs of fresh thyme, bay leaves, parsley, rosemary or sage all tied together with unwaxed kitchen twine in a piece of muslin). Add your bouquet garni to the boiling water when cooking your barley and remove when you strain.
For the dressing
4 Tbsp Pesto Princess Red Pesto
¼ cup good quality olive oil
Fresh orange juice to taste
Salt and pepper
1. Start by cooking the barley. Combine the barley, water and stock in a pot and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until tender (approximately 45–55 minutes). Once cooked, strain and set aside.
#TopTip You can pre-cook the barley the day before to shorten prep time.
2. While the barley is cooking, preheat the oven to 180°C and line a roasting tray with a silicon mat or baking paper.
3. Coat the cubed veggies with a good drizzle of olive oil before roasting for about 20-25 minutes. The veggies are ready when they are fork tender and slightly crispy around the edges.
4. While the veggies are roasting, make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning.
5. Combine the veggies, barley, dressing, chopped fresh parsley and crumbled feta in a large bowl and mix together until evenly coated. Pile into a large serving dish, topped with toasted seeds and nuts and additional dressing on the side.
Serves 4-6 people as a side or 2-4 as a main.
Recipe and food styling by Michelle Parkin.
Michael Olivier’s Choice
Landskroon Cinsaut 2014
With the red pesto dressing, barley, butternut, beetroot and feta, this dish will happily be complemented by a red wine.
It looks like Bottled under cork in a Bordeaux shaped bottle. Elegant Anthony Lane label design. In the glass, a gem-bright translucent ruby at the core which pales out to garnet on the meniscus.
It smells like Sweet cherries and berries with an undertow of oak spice.
It tastes like Bright fruited, medium-bodied wine on entry. Palate filling cherries and wild roadside bramble berries. The softest of tannins well interwoven with the fruit in a lingering aftertaste.
Do chill in an ice bucket for about 30 minutes before serving, it will add hugely to the pleasure of drinking this lovely wine.