- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 leek
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 150g pearl barley
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 350ml boiling water
- 200g baby leaf spinach
- 50g Bergerie petit chevre goat's cheese
- A handful of mint, leaves only
- 1 lemon
- 40g Kalamata olives
1. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel the garlic cloves and crush or finely chop them. Trim the roots and top 3 cm off the leek. Slice the leek lengthways and rinse out any grit under a cold tap. Thinly slice the leek.
2. Pour 1 tsp oil into a large pan and warm to a medium heat. Slide in the chopped onion, garlic cloves and leek. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Fry for 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
3. Scatter in the pearl barley and crumble in the stock cube. Pour in 350ml boiling water and stir well. Cover the pan with a lid. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer for 20 mins, till the barley is tender, but still has a little bite. Stir every so often and, if it seems a little dry, add a splash more water.
4. Pack the spinach into a food processor. Scoop in half of the goat’s cheese. Add the mint leaves. Grate in the lemon zest and squeeze in half of the juice. Whiz till finely chopped. No food processor? Chop the spinach and mint leaves as finely as you can and mix with the lemon and goat’s cheese.
5. When the barley is tender and cooked, add the spinach mixture and stir well to combine. Roughly chop half of the pack of olives. Stir the olives into the barley. Warm for a further 2 mins.
6. Taste the barley and add more lemon juice or salt and pepper if needed. Divide the barley between a couple of bowls and serve.