Sunday, January 25, 2009

Beetroot and Barley Salad

Beetroot and Barley Salad
This is an evolving salad that I am very taken with. It is sumptuously beautiful to look at - grated raw beetroot stains everything a deep crimson red and the walnut oil polishes everything to a glorious shine. It is a good dish for this time of year - the barley makes it chewy and substantial, the occasional nugget of toasted walnut is a treat to come across, the raw beetroot and parsley are clean and earthy with a great depth of flavour in every mouthful. It is also very simple to make. The only thing to be wary of is grating the beetroot - too much enthusiasm and the kitchen looks like the aftermath of a chainsaw massacre. I don't know why it is but as soon as I start grating beetroot it is suddenly all over the place in bright red globules no matter how careful I try to be. And it's a definite bugger to clean up.
Beetroot and Barley Salad
250g barley
1 beetroot about the size of a tennis ball, peeled and grated
100g walnuts, lightly toasted
4 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley
4 tablespoons walnut oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Cook the barley in boiling salted water till just al dente - about 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and leave to cool.

Tip the barley into a large bowl and add the toasted walnuts, chopped parsley and grated beetroot. Stir in the oils and vinegar and mix thoroughly. Try a mouthful and season accordingly.

And that's it. It will keep happily in the fridge for a couple of days - and is a decidedly cheery sight in lunchboxes. Cheap too - I had everything I needed for this except the parsley but the cost of half a pack of barley and a beetroot and the measures of oils and things would not come to more than £2.


Angie said...

I do love beetroot! Fortunately my food processor's grater insert, with the 'pusher' firmly in place in the lid, usually contains the worst of the mess.

That just reminds me, I'm sure I have a few whole cooked beetrot in the freezer that I put there to see what happens to them. I bet they go all watery when defrosted but they might be okmashed, left to drain off a bit and then mixed with horseradish and garlic.

Alexx said...

This looks great, especially as it is a lunch use for beetroot - they show up in our box sometimes and my other half can't bear them! Thanks!

bron said...

But Angie don't you then find it goes everywhere when you get it from the processor to the bowl or the sink...maybe I'm just a messy puppy. Suspect you're right about the defrosted beetroot but you could try this recipe for brownies that are really good - - and the mushness factor wouldn't matter.

My pleasure Alexx - always surprises me that people don't like beetroot but I guess you can split the world into two halves...