Pearl Barley and Butternut Squash Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing

This healthy and nutritious salad is delicious served warm or cold and will keep fresh for three days if you keep it in the fridge.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 tbspn olive oil
  • 250g pearl barley
  • 300g tender broccoli stems (chopped into medium-sized pieces)
  • 100g thinly sliced sweet tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion (finely diced)
  • 2 tblspns of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbspn of small capers (well rinsed)
  • 15 pitted black olives
  • 20g of roughly chopped fresh basil
  • For the vinaigrette dressing:
  • 5 tbspns balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tbspns extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbspn French Dijon mustard
  • 1 finely chopped clove of garlic

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 2000C/gas mark 6.
  2. While the oven is warming up, prepare the squash.  Peel and slice the squash into strips.  Toss the squash slices with olive oil and place on a baking tray.  Roast for 20 minutes.
  3. While the squash is roasting, boil the barley for 25 minutes in lightly salted water until it is tender but still al dente.
  4. Place all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk until well-combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Drain the cooked barley thoroughly then place it into a large bowl and pour the dressing over the top.  Mix it well and allow to cool.
  6. Cook the broccoli in salted water until it’s just tender.  Drain it thoroughly and then rinse with cold water.  Drain the broccoli again and gently pat dry with kitchen towel.  Place the broccoli and the remaining salad ingredients into the bowl with the barley and the dressing.  Mix well.