Warm Salad of roast squash, barley, fried mushrooms and blue cheese - Gill Meller
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Serves 2 as a delicious main course salad or great for sharing with friends at a BBQ
There are all sorts of squash you can use in this salad, each with it’s own particular flavour and texture. I like crown prince, but the popular butternut, is just as good. Squash seems to have a natural affinity with mushrooms and I often pair them together in different ways but if I had to choose one favourite it would be this warm salad into which I also add the grain pearled Barley I love its nutty bite, but you could use spelt in stead
Butternut squash, sage leaves, garlic, Olive oil, butter, chestnut mushrooms, pearled barley, wild rocket, soft blue cheese, salad dressing
Soak the barley for an hour in cold water then drain and place into a pan. Cover with fresh water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 25 – 35 minutes before draining and setting aside.
Peel a large squash, such as Butternut or Crown Prince. Cut into 1 inch chunks, and place in a roasting tin along with the bruised sage leaves, the garlic, peeled and thickly sliced, 2 Tbls of olive oil and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Roast the squash in a pre-heated oven, set at 200 degrees, for 45 mins or until soft and coloured round the edges.
Turn the barley through the roast squash and set aside.
Add 1 Tbls of olive oil along with the butter to a frying pan set over a medium heat, throw in the mushrooms that have been trimmed and cleaned and sliced, season them lightly with salt and pepper, fry for 4-5 mins or until cooked through.
In a large mixing bowl combine the cooked squash and barley, mushrooms, rocket and cheese. Lightly dress with the vinaigrette. Toss this all together and divide between the plates.