WI love cooking with beetroot leaves, it’s such a waste to throw them away! They taste a little like chard but have sweeter notes and work really well when wilted in warm salads such as this recipe. You could, of course, use chard or spinach, but if you have beetroot leaves knocking around, give it a go!
- 180g pearl barley
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 500ml boiling water
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 x bay leaves
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 200g halloumi
- 1 large heritage tomato
- 75g beetroot leaves
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1.5 tsp roughly chopped fresh oregano
- Fresh basil leaves
Heat the vegetable oil in a wide saucepan. Add the barley and cook over a moderate heat for 5 minutes or so until the barley is golden.
Add the boiling water (be careful as the pan will be very hot), garlic clove, rosemary sprig, bay leaves and a good pinch of salt. Cook, with the lid on, on a low heat (you just want a gentle bubble) for twenty minutes or until the barley is tender and the water has all been absorbed. If your pan is getting a little dry, add some more water but you shouldn’t need to.
Meanwhile, remove any tough stems from the beetroot leaves and give them a good wash and dry. Cut the heritage tomato into wedges, removing any tough core.
Slice your block of halloumi into 6. Heat a griddle pan on a moderate heat. Once hot, add the halloumi slices. Allow to cook, without touching them, for 3-4 minutes. Check the underside to see if they are turning golden. If so, turn over and cook the other side till caramelised. Once nicely caramelised on both sides, reserve on a plate.
Once the barley is tender, remove but reserve the garlic, discard the bay leaves and rosemary. Add the beetroot leaves to the barley. Stir through and allow to cook for a couple of minutes until wilted.
In a small bowl, mash the garlic with a fork and add the olive oil and vinegar, whisking to form an emulsion. Season well with salt and black pepper and stir through the fresh chopped oregano. Taste for seasoning and pour over the spelt and beetroot leaves. Toss together with the heritage tomatoes and serve with the grilled halloumi on top with a scattering of fresh basil leaves around.