Black barley is Maggie's new favourite grain – so much so that she's working on some South Australian growers to plant it. Might take a few seasons but watch this space!


  • ½ cup (100 g) raw black barley (*see note)

  • 1.2 kg white, orange or purple sweet potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed and chopped into 3 cm chunks

  • 2–3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • ½ cup mint leaves, torn

  • 160 g Persian feta, crumbled

  • Honey turmeric walnuts

  • 1 cup (100 g) walnuts

  • 1 tablespoon raw honey

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • Pinch of sea salt flakes

  • Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil

  • 3 tablespoons orange juice

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground ground pepper


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan-forced). Line a baking tray with baking paper.

  • 2.

    Place the black barley in a sieve and rinse under cold water. Place in a medium saucepan with 1 litre water and bring to the boil over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the barley is tender, then drain. Tip into a large bowl and cover with a cloth to prevent it drying out.

  • 3.

    Meanwhile, place the sweet potato, olive oil and spices in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine well. Spread over the lined tray and roast for 30–35 minutes or until golden and tender. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (fan-forced).

  • 4.

    To make the honey turmeric walnuts, place the walnuts on a baking tray and cook for 8–10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Pour into a clean tea towel and rub off the skins while still warm.

  • 5.

    In a small bowl, combine the honey, turmeric, salt and just enough water to make a thick paste. Add the toasted walnuts and stir to coat well. Spread over a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 10 minutes or until the walnuts are crunchy but still a bit sticky.

  • 6.

    To make the vinaigrette, place all the ingredients in a jar. Seal, then shake until well combined.

  • 7.

    To serve, add the sweet potato, herbs and half the vinaigrette to the barley and combine well. Place in a serving bowl, scatter with the walnuts and feta and serve with the remaining dressing alongside.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

  • Energy 976kj
  • Fat Total 53g
  • Saturated Fat 11g
  • Protein 21g
  • Carbohydrate 109g
  • Sugar 20g
  • Sodium 1161mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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*Black barley: This is an heirloom grain variety that is rich in nutritional value and flavour. Sometimes called purple barley, it has a nuttier taste than white barley and provides protein, fibre, manganese, selenium, anthocyanin antioxidants and some B-vitamins. Contains gluten.

Nutrition: Sweet potato is rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese, copper and fibre.

Extracted from Maggie’s Recipe for Life by Maggie Beer with Professor Ralph Martins, published by Simon & Schuster Australia, RRP $39.99.


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Posted by Carol125Report
Love this salad, especially the black barley.