A recipe that proves you can have a salad that's light but satisfying, with earthy pearl barley and the creamy goodness of burrata to boot. Choose plums that are ripe but still firm for this recipe. Peaches or nectarines would also work well.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 200 gm (1 cup) pearl barley
- 6 blood plums, cut into wedges
- 2 baby fennel, thinly shaved on a mandolin, fronds reserved
- 350 gm watercress, sprigs picked
- 1 golden shallot, thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 2 burrata, drained
- 125 ml (½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup basil leaves
- 1Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add barley and cook, stirring, until golden and toasted (3-4 minutes). Add 2 litres water and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender (20 minutes). Drain, then rinse and drain well. Transfer to a bowl and chill until ready to serve.
- 2Meanwhile, for basil vinaigrette, whisk oil, vinegar, garlic, fennel seeds, zest and juice, and ¼ cup finely chopped reserved fennel fronds in a jug and season to taste. Transfer half the dressing to the bowl with barley, toss to coat and season to taste. Add basil to remaining dressing and blend with a hand-held blender until smooth.
- 3Scatter barley mixture over serving plates, top with plum wedges, shaved fennel, watercress, shallot and burrata. Drizzle with basil vinaigrette and extra-virgin olive oil to serve.