Today's recipe takes its inspiration from the good old US of A! Barley bowls have become big news among New York hipsters and fun-loving Californians alike. Its subtle, nutty chew is a great partner for roasted sprouts and feta. And there's surely no berry more iconically American than the cranberry, so we've thrown a few in for a lovely burst of contrasting sweetness. Have a nice day!
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Preheat your oven to 200°C. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil for the pearl barley. Rinse the barley in a sieve then add it to the boiling water, along with a pinch of salt. Stir and bring back to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender, 25-30 mins. TIP: Top up with more water if it starts to evaporate. When the barley is cooked (it will be soft but chewy and double in size) drain in the sieve.
Meanwhile, halve the brussels sprouts through the stem, trimming off any bad leaves or woody stalks as you go. Halve, peel and thinly slice the shallot into half moons.
Pop the sprouts and shallot on a baking tray. Drizzle over a little oil and season with a good pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Give the tray a shake to ensure the veggies are evenly coated. Roast on the top shelf of your oven until the sprouts are tender and crispy around the edges, 15-20 mins. Turn halfway through cooking.
Combine the balsamic vinegar, honey and olive oil (amount specified in the ingredient list) in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix together. TIP: Taste the dressing by dipping in a rocket leaf and trying it - adjust the seasoning if you feel it needs it! When you are happy with the dressing, just pop the rocket leaves on top. Don't mix the leaves into the dressing yet or they'll go soggy!
When the barley and veggies are cooked, add them to the bowl with the rocket. Add half the dried cranberries, half the pumpkin seeds and crumble in half the feta cheese. Gently toss to combine. Do it quickly so as not to wilt the rocket too much!
Serve the feta and barley salad in bowls. Scatter over the remaining cranberries, pumpkin seeds and feta. Finally, cut the lemon into wedges and add one to each bowl so people can squeeze over however much they like.