Roast beetroot, barley and fennel salad
- June 2015
- 4 large beetroot
- 2 fennel bulbs
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
- 50g blanched hazelnuts
- Zest of 2 lemons and juice of ½-1
- 120g soft goat’s cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 200g pearl barley
- 750ml water
- A bunch each of fresh mint and parsley
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Peel and cut the beetroot into 8 wedges each. Halve the fennel bulbs lengthways, remove most of the core, then cut each half into 1.5cm diagonal slices. Put the beetroot and fennel in baking trays, then toss with extra-virgin olive oil and season. Roast for 25-30 minutes until tender.
- Meanwhile toast the blanched hazelnuts in a hot dry pan for 1 minute. Cool, then roughly chop and put in a large bowl.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium-high heat, then add the pearl barley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute to toast. Add the water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain, then drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season. Add to the nuts with the fennel and beetroot.
- Chop a bunch each of fresh mint and parsley, then toss through the veg with the lemon zest and juice. Crumble over the soft goat’s cheese to serve.
Choose firm roots with taut, unblemished skin, ideally with the leaves attached. The leaves are great blanched like spinach or chard or added to soups. Experiment with colours and varieties – some are sweeter and less earthy than others. All are good raw (finely sliced/grated) or cooked.
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