Barley and spelt salad

If you like to go to the beach in the middle of summer quite frequently, but don’t want to eat sandwiches every day, you should treat yourself to this fabulous salad of barley and spelt. It is an alternative to the more common rice salad or pasta: you can make it in advance and pack it into lunch boxes which are comfortable to carry in your cool bag. You’ll notice that they get devoured in seconds, and will appeal to even the smallest children. And even if you are not on the beach you will enjoy this light salad as a change to a heavier sandwich which could also take longer to digest. Our chef suggests a salad based on seafood flavours, with fresh prawns, vegetables and red onion. But you can vary the contents to taste, using the more traditional ingredients of a rice salad, or just using your imagination. However you choose to make it, you can be confident that you will be making a very healthy and natural dish, perfect for the intestinal health of the whole family.

Ingredients

  • spelt 100 grams
  • barley 100 grams
  • courgettes 50 grams
  • aubergine 70 grams
  • green peppers 30 grams
  • Tropea red onions 40 grams
  • beef tomatoes 100 units
  • king prawns 200 grams
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
Information
30 minutes Total time
25 minutes Active time
Serves 4 persons
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Preparation

Cut the vegetables into cubes. Stir-fry the courgettes with a little oil and salt. Fry the aubergines after salting them and leaving them to drain some of their liquid for 20min. Keep the tomatoes, peppers and onions raw. Sauté the prawns in a pan with a little olive oil just to colour them. Cook the barley and spelt for 25 or 30 minutes in salted water, then drain and leave to cool. Combine all the ingredients and season with olive oil and salt.

Tips
Both barley and spelt are commercially available in two variants, one de-husked and one pearled. The de-husked barley or spelt should be soaked for 12 hours in cold water, then boiled in water for about an hour and then used according to instructions in the recipe that you wish to make. The pearled version does not require soaking, it’s sufficient simply to rinse and then boil it in water for a shorter time. Twenty minutes for the spelt and about twice that for barley will be enough. If you have a pressure cooker, you can further halve these times.
Trivia
With barley and spelt as the main ingredients, you can make alternative but equally delicious "cousins" of the famous risotto, known as ‘orzotto’ and ‘farrotto’. When making these alternatives we advise using pearled version of the grains, and not the de-husked types.

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