I think I’ve broken some kind of record. I got home from work, kick off my shoes, poured a glass of vino and pondered the options of what to make for dinner. I picked up my phone and checked any updates from fellow bloggers, and one that happened get me enthused about dinner was this – a recipe by the fabulous Maria at Scandi Foodie. First the image had me interested and once I read through the ingredients I went through my head and realised I have just about all of them. Except the pumpkin. So as I put the barley on to boil and cranked up the oven, I ducked up the road to grab a butternut pumpkin.
In typical fashion I’ve adapted the recipe somewhat. I substituted the barberries with currants, the almonds with pinenuts and threw in a bit of spice in the form of cumin, cayenne and isot (Turkish sun-dried capsicum). Basically stuff laying about in the pantry. The outcome is somewhat different from the flavours Maria used. It’s a bit Turkish, a bit Middle Eastern and maybe a bit European. It really works. The smokiness of the isot really permeates through the salad and along with the chilli, it adds a nice spicy tingle to your lips.
Preheat oven 210°C.
Combine the pumpkin, olive oil, cumin, nigella seeds, garlic and balsamic glaze in a mixing bowl. Bake on a greased tray for 20-30 minutes until tender and caramelised, turning once during cooking.
Boil the barley in plenty of water for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Drain well and set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl combine the chives, white balsamic, quince paste, salt, pepper & lemon juice. Mix to form a paste and then add the parsley, olive oil, currants and isot. Stir to combine. Add the cooked barley and toasted pine nuts and mix well before adding the cooked pumpkin. Mix gently and serve warm or at room temperature.