Barley, squash & mushrooms with herb & crème fraîche dressing

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September 30, 2016 by dgarnett2013

Barley, squash & mushrooms with herb & crème fraîche dressing: Gather by Gill Meller


Serves 4 – 6

  • 250g pearl barley
  • 4 tabs extra-virgin olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 large butternut or crown prince squash
  • 1 small bunch of sage, leaves picked
  • 6 – 8 rosemary sprgis
  • 1 small garlic bulb, cloves separated, skin on
  • 4 – 5 large portobello mushrooms or similar (about 300 – 400g)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp English or Dijon mustard
  • 1 tab cider vinegar
  • 2 – 3 tabs crème fraîche
  • 1 good bunch of dill fronds, finely chopped, plus extra for serving
  • 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oven to 180℃.

Place the pearl barley in a medium pan, cover with water, and place on a medium heat. Simmer gently for 25 – 30 mins, until the barley is tender with a slightly nutty bite.

Drain and immediately dress with half the olive oil, the lemon zest and juice and a little salt. Set aside to cool.

Place the squash on a board and cut it in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds, then cut each half into 5 or 6 wedges and place them in a large roasting tray along with the sage leaves and rosemary sprigs, garlic cloves, the remaining olive oil and a generous seasoning of salt and black pepper.

Cover the roasting try with foil and place in the oven for 30 – 40 mins, until soft. Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms into 3 – 4cm slices.

Take the roasting tray out of the oven, remove the foil and scatter the sliced mushrooms over and around it. Turn everything together carefully to avoid breaking up the squash, then return it, uncovered, to the oven and cook for a further 20 mins, until the mushrooms are cooked and the squash has taken on some colour.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To make the dressing: thoroughly combine the sugar, mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. Stir in the crème fraîche and the chopped dill and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve: tumble the squash, mushrooms, herbs, garlic and all the juices in the roasting tray together with the barley.

Scatter over the parsley leaves, spoon over the dressing, tumble again, then finish with a scattering of dill. Take to the table straight away.

Made just as the Seamus Heaney HomePlace opened in Bellaghy.



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