Roast Butternut Squash, Pearl Barley, Cranberries and Crispy Kale

Hey folks! I’ve had a couple of weeks out from posting recipes (we all deserve a break once in a while right?). Now I’m back and raring to go as we enter my favourite time of year to cook! This salad may be a bit of a surprise for the season (not exactly stick-to-your-ribs food) but it’s satisfying nevertheless. Sweet roasted squash, a chewy grain, crunch seeds and fruit made to sparkle with a vibrant herb oil; what a great #accidentallyvegan dish! And even better, it’s one of the dishes I’m serving this week at my friend’s Christmas party🎅🌲🎁 (more to follow on that this week on my story)

Takes 45 minutes, makes 4 work lunches

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed into chunks (seeds, discarded)
250g pearl barley (cooked according to the packs instructions, but canned is also fine)
Pumpkin seeds
Dried cranberries
A bag of kale (180g)
A big bunch of parsley
A big bunch of basil
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

1) Pre heat the oven to 180C. Drizzle the butternut squash with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast in the oven for 45 minutes until cooked.
2) In a mixer, blend a big bunch of basil and parsley with 100g olive oil. You want the oil to be loose enough to drizzle easily, so add some extra oil as needed. It keeps well in the fridge for a week if you make too much!
3) In a big mixing bowl, toss the butternut squash, cooked pearl barley, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries with a generous spoonful of the herb oil.
4) On a separate baking tray, lay a flat layer of kale and roast in the oven for 5-10 minutes. You want it to be crispy, like the seaweed you get from a Chinese rakei! Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn though 😊
5) Serve a pile of the salad with a scattering of crispy kale and a final drizzle of herb oil.

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