his weekend summer finally arrived! I woke in Wiltshire to gleaming sun rays through my curtains, clear blue skies and the promise of a warm balmy day. I could already taste BBQ in the air and with some thick marbled dexter steaks sitting patiently in the fridge, all we needed was a side dish to accompany.
Now I call this a ‘grain’ salad as its open to using any type of grain or pulse of choice. Cous cous, pearl barely, lentils. Follow your taste buds. But for this creative dish I used quite an original and special one. Sent from overseas England has yet to offer this nutty, textured ingredient. Its a cross between cous cous and pearl barley but get this health addicts – its gluten free! But like I said sadly its not available in the UK yet but at least you know which food blog to check out when it does (ahem). This special packet of gold dust for coeliacs arrived for me overseas from a budding provider and I was keen to taste it. Being very versatile I wanted to use it simply and being gentle in taste it can easily handle strong flavours. Simmer for about 30 minutes and drain for a delicious texture and a wonderful flavour.
Available in both wholegrain and normal.
- 200g sorghum/pearl barley/giant cous cous/lentils
- 6 fresh apricots
- Small bunch thyme, leaves picked
- 1 tbsp runny honey (I used Odysea’s ‘Wild Thyme and Fragrant Herb Honey‘)
- 125g soft, goats cheese
- Handful of rocket
- 1 lemon
- Simmer you grain of choice until tender but with a little bite. Drain and leave to cool until just warm.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C.. Slice the apricots in half, de-stone and place on a baking tray. Drizzle over the honey and half the thyme leaves. Season and drizzle over a splash of olive oil and toss together. Roast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the apricots are roasted and softened but still hold their shape. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before cutting each half again in half.
- When ready to serve, season the grains and combine with the warm roasted apricots, the rest of the thyme and a handful of rocket leaves. Crumble in the goats cheese.
- Finally, dress with the juice of the lemon and stir gently to combine and coat in the lemony juices.
WINE: Served with a deliciously fruity glass of California’s ‘Folk Machine Pinot Noir’ available at Armit Wines