I have completely lost all sense of time. Events that I think happened weeks ago only took place the day before. My mother says this is because it normally takes a couple of months for us to see my brother as much as we have done in the last 10 days (which it no doubt is) but it's also a consequence of the Olympic bubble that I've been living in. I ventured to Oxford Street yesterday afternoon to do a bit of shopping and I was slightly stunned to discover that there was a world outside of the Olympic Park and my sofa.
This salad really has not got anything to do with planes. It's just that the only thing that I'm thinking about when I'm not thinking about the Olympics is the fact that we will be getting on a plane in just 5 days time. Everything in my life, therefore, has to relate to one of the two.
This salad has a base of pearl barley and baby spinach that satisfies my hunger and keeps me going until hometime without an emergency trip tot he vending machine. There's a crunch and brightness from the red onion (I like it raw but feel free to cook it if you prefer) and a creaminess from the feta. The dressing is simply olive oil and lemon. It makes a great side dish, especially to grilled lamb or chicken, or you can bulk it out with whatever leftover vegetables that you have on hand to make a more complete dish.
Pearl barley, spinach and feta salad
Yield: Serves 8 (or more as a side)
- 250g (2 cups) pearl barley
- 80g (3 cups) fresh baby spinach, washed and drained
- 200g (1 cup) feta
- 1 red onion
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pearl barley as per the instructions (mine took about 30 mins in a pan of simmering water)
- When cooked, drain the pearl barley and allow it to cool slightly.
- While cooling, roughly chop the spinach and finely dice the red onion.
- Put the pearl barley, spinach and red onion in a large serving bowl. Crumble over half the feta, add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and mix well to combine. Sprinkle the rest of the feta on top.