A delicious and hearty vegetarian salad of pearl barley and wild mushrooms topped with a poached egg.
As much as I look forward to winters comfort foods, all too soon I'm craving lighter dishes, such as salads. As it's not quite summer the salads I crave at this time of year are little more robust, such as this Warm Barley and Mushroom Salad with Poached Eggs.
The nutty barley in this mushroom salad pairs well with the wild mushrooms. Here I've used a mix of button mushrooms, enoki, trompettes and chanterelles but you can use a mix of your favourite mushrooms. Watercress adds a bit of colour and pepperiness, although you could use rocket (arugala) in a pinch, and the red wine vinegar dressing poached egg round out the dish.
Serve with a glass of red wine for a relaxed weekend lunch.
- ½ cup barley
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup dried mushrooms such as trompettes and chanterelles
- 1 tbs butter or olive oil
- 1 leek finely sliced
- 6 large mushrooms finely sliced
- ½ cup enoki mushrooms
- 1 clove of garlic finely sliced
- 1 tbs red wine vinegar
- 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 cup watercress
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbs vinegar
- Place the barley in a small saucepan and cover with the water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the barley is tender. Drain any excess water.
- Meanwhile, place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water and leave for 20 minutes to soak.
- Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter or olive oil along with the leek. Cook until softened and slightly caramelised. Remove from the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and slightly caramelised. Remove from the pan. Add the dried mushrooms and enoki to the pan along with half the soaking liquid. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the soaking liquid is absorbed. Add the mushrooms, leek and barley to a bowl, along with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
- Whisk the red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and mustard in a small bowl and add to the mushroom and barley mixture. Toss well and check the seasoning. Finally, add the watercress. Divide between 2 plates or bowls.
- Fill a large frying pan with 1 ½ inches of water. Heat over medium heat just until bubbles appear on bottom add the vinegar. Break one egg and carefully and slowly lower the egg into the water. Repeat with the second egg. Cook until whites are just firm, around 4 to 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Place on top of the salad and serve immediately.