Recipe: Christmas salad

«How is that even possible?» you may ask. And I used to agree, until yesterday. You know when you’re so full and almost sick of all that delicious and heavy Christmas food? That’s when you have to make this amazing salad. It’s a salad, but it’s still full of yummy things like roasted vegetables, walnuts and blue cheese. Take a look:


You’ll need (for 4 people):

  • 400 g acorn squash (butternut squash or pumpkin would work as well, I think)
  • 2 beets
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lime (or lemon)
  • Dried rosemary
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 pear
  • 80 g walnuts
  • 100 g blue cheese (we used Gorgonzola)
  • A big handful chopped parsley
  • Salt & pepper

How to:

  1. Combine the barley with 3 cups of water and a little salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it boils, and then on low until all the water has been absorbed (about 30 minutes).
  2. Deseed the squash and scrub the beets. Cut them in 2 cm wedges. If you want you can peel the vegetables, but we didn’t and after roasting the skin was perfectly eatable.
  3. Put the squash and beet wedges in a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil and half the lime juice. Season with salt, pepper and rosemary, toss and cover the tray with aluminium foil. Roast in the middle of the oven at 180°C for about 25 minutes.
  4. Peel, core and cut the pear in 8-12 wedges. Take the roasting tray out of the oven, remove the aluminium foil and add the pear wedges. Drizzle with a little more olive oil before returning to the oven for another 10 minutes (without the foil this time).
  5. When the barley is done (when the water has been absorbed), turn off the heat and leave it for 15 minutes with a lid on. Chop the walnuts roughly before drizzling the barley with olive oil, the other half of the lime juice, some lime zest, most of the walnuts, the parsley, salt and pepper.
  6. Divide the barley and the roasted vegetables between four plates. Decorate with the rest of the parsley and walnuts, and crumble the blue cheese over it to finish. Enjoy!

I found the recipe in Jamie Oliver Magazine’s November issue which I thought was the Christmas issue because of all the festiveness and Christmassy recipes, but apparently there’s a December issue as well. Oh, joy! I changed the recipe a little bit because of what I already had on hand and the access to some ingredients. Can you believe that I can’t find spelt here? I even went to a special store and they didn’t have it. So strange. Barley worked great though 🙂 And I used rosemary instead of thyme and lime instead of lemon. Choose whatever you have on hand! Enjoy, and happy holidays!

– Guro

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