- 75g pearl barley
- Sea salt
- 200ml boiling water
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 carrot
- 50g peppery salad leaves
- 2 shallots
- 200g asparagus
- 2 eggs
1. Pour the barley into a pan with a pinch of salt. Add 200ml boiling water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 25 mins. When cooked, drain and rinse with cold water.
2. While the barley cooks, peel and crush the garlic. Slide into a bowl. Stir in 1 tbsp each Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and olive oil to form a dressing. Swirl in a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Trim and peel the carrot. Use the peeler to create ribbons, and slide them into a large salad bowl. Scatter in the peppery salad leaves.
4. Peel the shallots and thinly slice it. Snap the ends off the asparagus (they’ll break at the right point when bent). Pour 1 tbsp oil into a large frying pan and warm to a medium-high heat. Add the shallots and fry for 2-3 mins, stirring frequently, till crisp. Scoop out onto a plate lined with kitchen paper.
5. Return the pan to the heat and add the asparagus. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper. Fry for 4-5 mins, turning once or twice, till the spears are tender and slightly charred at the edges. Transfer the asparagus to the same plate as the shallots.
6. Return the pan to the heat, adding 2 tsp of oil, if needed. Crack in the eggs and fry for 4-5 mins, till the whites are set and crispy at the edges.
7. While the eggs are cooking, shake the pearl barley dry and tip into the bowl with the carrots and leaves. Pour in the mustard dressing and toss. Divide the salad between plates and top with asparagus spears, fried eggs and crispy shallots.