A vibrant Middle-Eastern style salad to serve at your next barbecue.  The pearl barley has a great nutty flavour which pairs fantastically with the tangy pomegranate seeds and creamy goats cheese. I like to serve it with a nice piece of spiced lamb. 

PEARL BARLEY & POMEGRANATE SALAD

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

135 grams (2/3 cup) pearl barley
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
1 onion, finely sliced
Knob of butter
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1 cup baby spinach leaves
70 grams (1/2 cup) pine nuts
40 grams goats cheese
Large handful or parsley leaves, finely chopped
8 mint leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

In a pot of salted cold water, boil the pearl barley for 20 minutes or until soft with a slight chew to it. Drain and set aside.

Place the butter, onions, cumin, coriander and paprika in a nonstick frypan and fry on a low heat for 20-25 minutes until soft and caramelised. Set aside to cool.

In a small frypan over a medium heat, dry fry the pine nuts until golden, this will only take a few minutes.

In a bowl combine the pearl barley, spinach leaves, caramelised onions, 3/4 of the pine nuts, 3/4 of the pomegranate seeds, fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper.

To serve crumble over the goats cheese and sprinkle with the remaining pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.