Saturday, October 18, 2014

Barley Salad with Pomegranate and Halloumi

The season for pomegranates, one of my favorite fruits, has just started. I have been experimenting with them again, adding to any dishes for their wonderful taste and health benefits. Today, then, a middle eastern style barley salad with pomegranate arils.

The green salad with barley that I shared some time ago, and made at home I do not remember how many times, has been one of the most popular salads I ever served. Although there are many ingredients in that salad I would mostly credit the barley for its uniqueness.

Barley is quite popular in Poland but I never saw it served as salad. But I like to use it for that purpose because no matter how long you cook it barley almost never becomes entirely soft and gives a nice texture to any salad. In this particular salad, pomegranate arils contribute the sweet and sour taste and extra crunchiness. I finish it with fried halloumi cheese, which makes this simple salad wholesome and tasty.

Barley Salad with Pomegranate and Halloumi
(Serves 4–6)

1/2 cup barley (cooked until tender),
1 bunch flat leaves parsley,
pomegranate arils from one medium pomegranate,
1/2 Halloumi cheese (about 4 oz) cut into slices and then smaller pieces,
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil,
juice from half a lemon,
1/4 cup roasted pine nuts,
1 tbsp chili flakes,
sea salt to taste.

1. Cook barley for about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain and cool completely. Transfer barley to a large serving bowl.
2. Remove arils from the pomegranate avoiding all white membranes and place in the bowl with barley.
3. Wash parsley and chop the leaves. Add to the barley.
4. Heat one tbsp olive oil on a pan and add halloumi pieces. Sprinkle with chili flakes and fry until dark gold. Cool.

5. In a small bowl mix the remaining one tbsp of olive oil with lemon juice and salt. Pour over the salad, add toasted pine nuts, and and gently toss.
6. Finish the salad with fried halloumi and serve.