Saturday, December 5

Pearl barley with roasted fennel and squash

I first ate this on a visit to Canteen restaurant in the Royal Festival Hall, which is one of my favourite places to go for traditional British seasonal food. Their treacle tart with clotted cream is to die for.

But back to the recipe. I believe the original meal was made with spelt, but I substituted pearl barley which is just as nice and maybe even better.

I tried to find a recipe but couldn't, so I just made it up, which is why it's quite a basic recipe. I think the secret here is the combination of flavours. Roast fennel and roast squash make a fabulous combination, and the pearl barley brings the perfect texture to the meal. Don't leave out the garlic or the herbs, they are essential.

I haven't done any quantities since I usually make it just for myself. You will have to make a guess I'm afraid, but there's no crucial quantities, just make sure you have enough for the guests.

Pearl barley
Squash, peeled and chopped in large chunks
Fennel, chopped into large chunks
Garlic, crushed
Herbs (I use marjoram, sage or thyme)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Put the pearl barley in a pan with plenty of water. Bring to the boil then simmer for about an hour.

At the same time, mix the fennel, squash, garlic, herbs, seasoning and olive oil in a large roasting dish. Put in a medium oven for about an hour, shaking the tin occasionally.

Strain the pearl barley, mix with the roasted veg. Add a dribble more olive oil and salt if necessary.

See, I told you it was simple!

Incidentally, Leez has posted some details of the 1970s pattern book for those of you who were cooing over it the other day - hop over and enjoy!


Mary deB said...

That sounds delish! Will try it this season, I'm sure!

Anonymous said...

Good mind, good find........................................