My new favourite side dish or weeknight salad.
This week I’ve been working on the next issue of EatInEatOut magazine which will be coming to your email box next Monday. It’s all about Winter Comfort Foods with healthy soups, piping hot beverages and steamy one-pot dishes. You’re going to love it!
In one of the stories on new food trends for 2015, I created three yummy recipes with Ontario Pork using my new favourite spice – cardamom. Totally in love with it right now; awesome in tea, soups, main dishes and even desserts. Have you tried my recipe for Meyer Lemon Pound Cake with Cardamom yet, it’s really delicious! One of these new magazine recipes, Cardamom-Coffee Rubbed Pork Tenderloin (just a teaser, you have to wait until next Monday for the recipe…), was crying out for a flavourful and hearty dish to serve with it. That’s how Pearl Barley with Spinach and Feta was born.
Barley has a wonderful nutty flavour and mouth feel. When cold weather hits, I crave hearty grain dishes like this that can be a perfect side dish or light meal on their own. Served hot or cold, this Pearl Barley with Spinach and Feta is a recipe I will make again and again.
I love, love love this dish. As you can see, I served it warm with pork tenderloin sliced over top, but it was totally delicious on it’s own. Just squeeze fresh lemon over the whole plate and you have a really satisfying meal. Enjoy!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil or canola oil
- 1 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 4 cups baby spinach, stems removed
- juice of 1 lemon + 1 more to serve
- zest of one lemon
- 2 cups cooked pearl barley
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup almonds, slivered
- ½ cup golden raisins
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish)
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add garlic, cardamom, lemon juice and zest and cook 30 seconds. Add spinach, lemon juice and zest. Cook, stirring, until spinach is wilted, about 30 seconds.
- Add cooked barley, feta, almonds and raisins. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat through if serving warm drizzle with the juice of one lemon and chopped fresh parsley.
- For a great salad option: store in an air-tight container in fridge and serve cold, drizzled with more fresh lemon juice.