This Barley and sumac prawn dish is easy to make and can be served hot or cold, as part of buffet, or as a light lunch or dinner. The inclusion of barley in this recipe brings tremendous health benefits.

Barley is high in fiber, and packed with vitamins and nutrients. It helps to reduce weight and modulate blood sugar levels and is relatively low in calories (compared with other grains). Barley is proven to protect against breast cancer and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease. UK researchers have examined how fibre intake affects pre-menopausal women; they found that a diet rich in fiber from whole grains, such as barley, could result in up to a 50% reduction in breast cancer. There is so much more to say about barley but lets get on with the recipe.


Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Vegetarian option: Yes
Serves: 4 to 6


For barley salad:
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
200g butternut squash
250g pearl barley
150g Tenderstem broccoli, cut into 3cm pieces
1 blood orange
1 avocado, cut into 2cm cubes
40g baby spinach
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp goji berries

For dressing:
5 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

For sumac prawns:
250g raw prawns
2 tbsp sumac
1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/325F/gas 3.
  2. Place the tomatoes and butternut squash on a baking tray and brush them with olive oil, then sprinkle the oregano on top followed by a pinch of salt. Bake in the oven for one hour and 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse the barleys and add to a pot with containing one litre of water, bring to boil and then simmer on a low to medium heat for 30 to 35 minutes or until it’s cooked but al dente. Drain the barley and place it in a large bowl, add all the dressing ingredients to the barley and stir well to mix, set aside to cool.
  4. Bring a pot of salted water to boil, add the broccoli and boil for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water to prevent from further cooking.
  5. To peel the orange, first cut a slice off both ends to expose a circle of orange fruit. Stand the orange on one end and then run the knife from top to bottom to cut the skin in such a way that you remove all the pith. Don’t cut too deep to avoid removing too much of the fruit. Slice away fruit between the membranes, releasing segments into the bowl. Set aside.
  6. To prepare the prawns, dust them with sumac and set aside, heat the olive oil on a frying pan on a medium heat. Add the prawns and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until they change to a pink-like colour. Prawns cook very quickly so avoid leaving them on the heat for too long or else they will become tough and unpalatable.
  7. Add the tomatoes, butternut squash, broccoli, orange, avocado, spinach, red onion, goji berries and fried prawns to the barley bowl and stir well until fully mixed. Season if needed and serve.



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