Spring is kind of unpredictable weather-wise, so I went with a variety of tastes, textures and flavours in this salad to satisfy throughout the season. You can change up the vegetables/herbs with whatever inspires you in the moment.
- 1 cup pot barley, soaked overnight
- 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used cremini and oyster varieties)
- 2 leeks (white and light green part only)
- 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped fine
- ½ tbsp tamari soy sauce
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 5 tbsp grapeseed oil, divided
- juice of 1 lemon
- ⅓ cup raw hazelnuts
- 1 small shallot, minced fine
- ¾ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line one large and one small baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Drain the soaked barley over a bowl to save the water. Place drained barley in a medium saucepan. Top up the barley water with fresh water (if necessary) up to 3 cups. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower pot to a simmer, cover and cook until barley grains are fully cooked, but still a little bit chewy, about 25 minutes.
Drain cooked barley and dump into a large bowl. Toss the cooked grains with 1 tbsp of the oil and set aside.
Place the sliced mushrooms in a large bowl. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and give them a good rinse to remove any dirt or grit. Slice them into ½ inch thick pieces, crosswise. Add them to the bowl with the mushrooms along with the chopped thyme, tamari, balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp of the grapeseed oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and place vegetables onto the large parchment lined sheet in a single layer. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway, until leeks are golden on the edges and mushrooms are dark but still moist.
Remove tray and allow to cool. Place hazelnuts on small parchment lined sheetpan. Roast nuts until skin is very dark, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Remove skin by rubbing hazelnuts between your palms over the parchment. The skin should fall through. Chop roughly and set aside.
Add the roasted vegetables to the large bowl of barley. Toss with remaining oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the chopped hazelnuts, diced shallots and parsley. Toss to combine and serve.