Pearl barley with roasted peppers, celery, capers and allspice / Serves 4
- 250g pearl barley
- 2 red peppers, halved lengthways (sides and pith removed)
- 1 yellow pepper, halved lengthways (sides and pith removed)
- 4 sticks of celery, chopped
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced
- a handful of parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp capers
- black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp smoked paprika, plus extra to serve
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
Mix together the dressing ingredients and set aside. Heat the grill on high.
Place the pearl barley in a saucepan filled with plenty of water. Bring to the boil and cook for around 30 minutes until just tender with some bite.
Meanwhile, prepare the peppers: place the cut halves skin-side up on a metal tray underneath a very hot grill and leave to blacken (this will take about fifteen minutes). Watch very carefully to make sure they don't catch! Once they're suitably blackened, remove the tray and leave to cool.
As soon as the pearl barley is ready, drain and transfer to a large bowl, then pour in the dressing ingredients along with the diced celery and spring onions. Stir well, then set aside once again. This will allow the flavours to absorb.
Once the peppers are cool enough to handle (they will appear wrinkled), peel off and discard the skins and cut each pepper into strips. Mix these into the cooked, dressed pearl barley along with the parsley and capers.
To serve, divide the mixture between plates then sprinkle over extra smoked paprika and ground black pepper.