300g baby spinach, chopped
salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
100g cooked black barley*
150g fennel, finely shaved
150g kohlrabi, peeled and finely julienned
1 celery heart, finely shaved
2 handfuls of mint leaves, torn
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 tbsp barberries, soaked in 2 tbsp of boiling water for 15 minutes
2½ tbsp toasted pepitas
For the curried nut dressing
90ml extra virgin olive oil
30ml white vinegar or pickle juice
60g sunflower seeds, soaked overnight, then drained
60g cashews, soaked overnight, then drained
60g pickled jalapenos
½ garlic clove, peeled
1½ tsp curry powder
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp salt flakes
1½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp asafoetida (optional)**
1. For the dressing, add all ingredients to a blender with 200ml water and blitz until smooth. The dressing will have a pourable consistency. Spread over a serving plate.
2. Add the spinach and two tablespoons of water to a large frying pan over high heat, stirring through until wilted. Season with salt and drain, then add to a bowl with the barley and combine.
3. Pile the spinach and barley mix onto the dressing.
4. Combine the fennel, kohlrabi and celery in a bowl, then pile onto the serving plate.
5. Scatter over the mint, squeeze over the lemon, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Finish with the barberries and pepitas. Present the salad and toss at the table to fully dress.
*To cook barley, place it in a pot, add water to cover by 2 centimetres or so, season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 40-45 minutes until the water is absorbed. Spread out on a baking tray to cool.
**Also called hing, umami-rich asafoetida is the dried sap derived from the roots of several species of ferula plant. It’s ground into a powder and commonly used in Indian cuisine.