I don't know about you, but I adore receiving things in the mail. Snail mail, as it's come to be referred. Call me a nana but in an age where everything is about instant gratification, a small reminder of the old ways is a welcome relief. The day I was delivered The Kinfolk Table was a particularly exciting one. A self -proclaimed disciple of the Kinfolk camp, their philosophy is all about simplifying in the best possible sense. Singing the virtues of the shared table where time itself is the greatest luxury.
|To my excitement, the Kinfolk Table is quite a tome to be pored over again and again Photo: Kinfolk|
I want to cook everything in this book, the recipes are not there to challenge or dazzle you with technique but to simply enjoy the process: the market shop, the meander in the kitchen almost an idle. Here is the first thing I made from the cookbook at home, it was a pleasure to put together (because that's all it was really) and to devour.
Hearty Barley Salad with Broiled Feta and Tomatoes
Recipe by Nathalie Schwer
|The finished product, a serving of deliciousness - and sort of healthy too!|
Don't let this longish list of ingredients deter you!
230g feta cut into small cubes
230g small ripe tomatoes, halved
70g pitted black olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs e.g. rosemary, oregano, thyme
60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
200g pearled barley
2 cups water
2 ripe avocados, cut into cubes
455g marinated artichokes, in wedges
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
2 cups fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
30ml (2 tbspn) fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees, position rack in centre of oven
2. Combine feta, tomatoes, olives, herbs and olive oil on a foil lined baking tray and toss to mix
3. Bake for 25 mins or until the feta has melted and the tomatoes soft and brown
|Oh man, just imagining this as a tart/quiche filling right now...|
4. Meanwhile, bring barley, water and 1/2 tspn salt to boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 20 mins or until tender. Fluff barley with fork and transfer to a salad bowl
|Believe it or not, I haven't actually cooked with pearl barley before. I had to buy it from the trusty health food shop up the road. It has a texture very similar to brown rice, slightly nutty|
5. Add avocados, artichokes, cucumber, basil and lemon juice to barley and toss to combine
|Any other day, I would happily sit down and polish these off just as they are|
6. Stir in the feta mixture. Season to taste with S & P
|Be aware that feta tends to be quite salty so don't be too heavy handed with seasoning|
7. Serve warm with bread and/or charcuterie (whatever's lying around) and a glass of wine
|A hodge podge of veg and colour! I found the feta let off a lot of oil once baked, add the pan juices to the salad with care|
There's a lot going on with this salad flavour wise. The feta offers a real kick that is tempered by the sweetness of the tomatoes and cucumber. Add in those divine artichokes and the occasional olive saltiness. The freshness of the basil features with almost every mouthful. The recipe apparently serves 4 but I stretched it to 6 pretty generous serves. Great as a party starter!
Thanks for reading!