A lovely, hearty salad with roast fennel and carrots, but any root vegetables will do. The barley and goat cheese make this vegetable wonder suitable as a side dish, starter or even as a vegetarian main.
Pre-heat the oven to 200'C.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Throw in the barley. When the water comes back to the boil, cover the pot with a lid, and turn down the heat so that the water simmers. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the barley is cooked but firm. Leave to cool down in the cooking water.
Top and tail the carrots, and wash. Cut the larger ones in half lengthwise.
Top and tail the fennel bulbs, remove any damaged outer layer. Cut into 6 to 8 wedges, then trim the tough core, leaving enough of it so that the wedges do not fall apart.
Remove the root end of the garlic cloves, lightly smash the cloves, but do not peel.
Coarsely crush the coriander seeds.
Zest and juice the lemons, keep both apart.
In an oven-proof dish, toss the carrots, fennel bulbs, spices, lemon zest, garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper. Leave to roast in the oven until the vegetables are cooked, about 25 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, top and tail the spring onions and finely slice.
Finely chop the fresh coriander stalks and all, making sure not to bruise the leaves.
If the goat cheese has a rind, taste a little bit: keep if the taste is pleasant, otherwise remove before crumbling.
Remove the garlic peels from the cloves in the roasting dish.
Drain the barley, and toss into the pan with the vegetables. Toss with the lemon juice and herbs.
Mix through the crumbled goat cheese. Taste for seasoning, and serve.
«This salad is great served while still warm from the oven, but is also a kicker as cold left-overs. Try varying the flavour by substituting an orange for the lemons, or change up the spices.»