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Roasted beetroot and barley salad

This tasty salad makes a substantial lunch and would be a good showcase for our delicious golden and chiogga heritage beetroot varieties but is equally delicious with our common or garden red beets. I love the barley in this dish but other grains such as spelt, whole wheat or even quinoa could be substituted for the pot barley to ring the changes.

Serves 4

250g pot barley (or other grain such as spelt, wheat or quinoa)

4 medium golden, chiogga or regular beetroot

200g rocket or other spicy leaves (e.g. mustard, watercress)

150-200g soft sheep or goats cheese

For the dressing

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic or cider vinegar (apple balsamic is delicious in this salad)

1 teaspoon honey

½-1 teaspoon mustard

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Rinse and cook the barley according to instructions (about 30-45 minutes), drain.

Meanwhile roast the beetroot. Scrub the beets taking care not to pierce the skin and leave the roots and a small amount of stalk on. Wrap each beetroot in silver foil, shiny side in and put on a baking tray in a preheated oven 200°C/gas mark 6. Cooking time will depend on the size of the beetroot but you shouldn’t need to check until they have been in the oven for 30 minutes, they may take up to an hour. They are ready when a fork goes in easily. Allow to rest until cool enough to handle easily and peel the skins away.

Shake the dressing ingredients together in a jar until the honey is dissolved. Put the drained barley, rocket and crumbled cheese in a serving bowl and pour over the dressing. Cut the beetroot into bite size chunks and toss through before checking seasoning and serving the salad at room temperature. Yum!


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