This is a lovely salad with a vibrant array of colours, perfect for eating outdoors on a sunny day. Squash builds Qi or energy, is easy on the digestion and the herbs help relieve stagnant energy. Mint is cooling and especially good for bloating (stuck Qi) and poor digestion, so use plenty if this applies to you.
About 2 to 4 servings depending on your portion sizes!
Paste for squash
3 garlic cloves, bashed a couple of times, skins slipped off.
1 pinch of dried chilli flakes
Pinch of salt
Half tsp ground allspice
4 tbps of oil
600g butternut squash, deseeded, halved and cut into 0.5cm slices
2 tbsp maple syrup
For the salad
175g of cooked pearl barley (rinse and cooked for 20 mins)
1 handful each of mint and parsley finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
3 very ripe tomatoes, finely diced
seeds of half a pomegranate
half a clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp of tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
6 tbsp of oil
Heat oven to 220c/425F.
Mix the paste ingredients together, scatter the cut squash on a baking tray and smear over the paste, add a few tablespoons of water and roast for 40 minutes. Remove, drizzle over maple syrup and roast for 10 minutes more.
Make the tahini dressing by mixing the half of garlic, salt, tahini, lemon juice and oil in a pestle and mortar. Season to taste and add water if needed to get a single cream consistency.
Toss the pearl barley with half the dressing, onions, tomatoes and most of the herbs and put on top of the squash on a large plate. Spoon on the remaining dressing, reserved herbs and pomegranate seeds.