Other than wine I was quite good with my diet this weekend. This roasted carrot, fennel, pearly barley and halloumi salad really helped. It’s one of those salads that really feels like a meal. The pearl barley plumps it out and even though it was a bit of an experiment it actually worked really well. It sort of felt like a cross between a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern salad with a very British twist, which was fine by us. I think with salads you just need to go for your favourite foods and add them to what you love.
roast carrot and fennel
As you know, I’m crazy for fennel so that’s always a winner and the carrot gets so wonderfully sweet when slow-roasted it compliments the halloumi so well. I threw in some green basil leaves for freshness and then finally the tomatoes added a little crunch. Roasting alongside the lemon wedges and garlic means you get extra bits to add to the dressing. Speaking of which…
roasted garlic vinaigrette
I’ve served this salad with a little twist on a vinaigrette to give it some zing, this is such a perfectly light dressing and compliments the sweetness of the roasted vegetables perfectly. Using the roasted lemon wedges and garlic adds a different depth of flavour. I dress the salad whilst the vegetables are still warm which seems to emulsify the dressing and makes it slightly creamy which is joyful.
More salad inspiration from me can be found here.
for the salad
- 100g pearl barley
- 50ml vegetable stock
- 1 fennel bulb – cut into wedges
- 2 medium carrots – cut into batons
- fresh thyme
- olive oil
- 1 lemon – cut into wedges
- 5 cloves of garlic – un-peeled
- 1 block of halloumi – cut into thick slices ( I’m currently liking the lighter Cypriot halloumi from Sainsbury’s)
- rocket or baby mixed salad leaves
for the dressing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- a squeeze of roasted lemon
- the roasted garlic – crushed
- salt and pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 150C
Place the pearl barley into some boiling water, add a little crumbling of stock and let it boil for about 30 mins or until tender. Drain well (although it should have absorbed most of the water) and set aside in the pan with the lid on to cool down a little.
Meanwhile, place all the veg into a roasting dish, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and I’m using fresh thyme too. Cover in foil and roast on low for 30 mins until the veg a tender and the garlic is soft. Place the carrots and fennel into a large bowl. Reserve the lemon and garlic.
Place the pearl barley into the bowl with the vegetables and squeeze over the roasted lemons. You won’t get much out of them but enough to make a difference. Squeeze out the garlic into the bowl too.
Add the dressing ingredients directly to the bowl too. (You can make up a separate dressing but what’s the point?) Then mix it all around so that everything is coated. To be honest the best tools to do this are your hands as you can ensure everything is coated. The roast veg should be warm and not hot. Set aside until ready to eat.
I like to eat this salad at room temperature rather than fridge-cold but do as you like here.
To make the salad I lay a layer of mixed leaves into the bowl first and then the pearl barely and roast veg followed by the halloumi which I grill as per the instruction on the packet.
Eat and of course, enjoy!