Three grain summer saladTake a handful of pearl barley rinsed in cold water and pop it in a pot with more water so it is well covered. Place a lid on the pot to shorten the time it takes the water to boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and wait for 20 minutes until the beads of barley are soft but still chewy to bite.
Take a handful of black rice and do as above. Black rice should be cooked in a separate pan as it colours the cooking water a deep muddy red, brown. This contaminates the colour of everything it comes in contact with.
Finally, to complete the triad of grains, place four tablespoons of quinoa in a pan of water, as above, but limit the cooking time to 12 minutes once the water has come to the boil. Little white tails emerge from the seed coat as quinoa seeds cook and indicate when the quinoa is cooked are ready to eat. It should taste a little bit crunchy when cooked.
To finish your salad mix in a selection of roasted vegetables. I have used slow roasted tomatoes which I put in the oven at 150 C for an hour while I went out running. I sprinkled them with sea salt and a branch of oregano I picked from my unruly herb patch. At this time of the year all the woody stemmed herbs go wild - 'bad herb day' I think as I walk past them.
A chopped yellow courgette was put in the oven to roast slowly at the same time as the tomatoes. Once back from my run I flame roasted peppers and steamed purple mange tout because they are ready in the garden. Their purple pods dangle like odd socks on a washing line.
Finally I made a batch of fresh pesto - and because I did not have enough basil I supplemented it with the curly leaves of parsley.
To assemble the salad - mix the grains together with a tiny drizzle of oil, lemon juice and salt. This keeps the grains lubricated and adds a little flavour. The cooked and cooled vegetables were mixed in and the whole salad dotted with bright green, delicious, fresh tasting pesto.
This salad and the photographs below were prepared as part of a skill share workshop with Carolyn Mendelsohn a very talented portrait photographer based in Saltaire, Yorkshire. We began with photographing still life food and then moved on to preparing, photographing and eating the mixed grain salad. If you would like me to run a bespoke workshop for you please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org I will feed you well!