Tenderstem tip, roasted red pepper and barley salad with curried mayonnaise
Fake it and make it
I am not normally an advocate of faking anything. I’m not very good at it either. I had pretty worthy week this week; Monday was filled with promise and colour, celebration and indulgence. Tuesday pulsed with exhaustion yet productivity. Wednesday was beamed with sunshine, innocence and smiles. Thursday was a right-off. The bubble of promise popped, the forthcoming celebration cancelled. Someone sent me a message telling me that my writing is ‘raw and honest’. That encouraged me further to say it how it is.
As my I read my emails over and over again, my little one clambered over me whilst tugging onto my hair and strands floated down my pale t-shirt. I had got dressed up for playgroup this morning and I am glad that I did. I rested my forehead on my fingers to try and reason with clarity, but it wasn’t meant to be. My husband sometimes says that my boy doesn’t comprehend that he isn’t a part of me. If I am thinking of something, my boy will often vocalise it. If I am happy, he frolics around encouraging loud, rapturing laughter from me. If I am sad, he throws himself onto me into a clumsy embrace and repeatedly reassures me with confessions of love. Today, he whimpered, reminding me that I have a choice…well sort of. Get, up and get on with it…or. Or what?
I didn’t want to make dinner today, but we had to eat. If we are going to eat, it has to be a satisfying one, both for the taste buds and the stomach. So here, in all its honesty, is how this recipe happened.
I put the barley on to boil, because I didn’t want to eat rice or pasta. I was on the phone trying to decipher what this potentially useful contact was advising me amidst, ‘mumma where’s the dinosaur train gone, its FINISHED’. So then I over cooked the barley a bit and it grew a bit lavender-ish so I disguised it in soy, chilli, basil and ginger and it tasted good.
I put the peppers onto roast but I forgot about them whilst fervently messaging my friend, ‘It thought it was…but it wasn’t’. They ended up well done, sweet and juicy but not burned. I simply trimmed any damaged ends and discarded them.
I can always be bothered with a dressing. In the same way that I got dressed for playgroup this morning, it makes something special of something understated. It styles uncomplicatedness and when you wash your hair, wear a nice top or put a fried egg or some creamy dressing on your food, life is a little bit better. Ordinarily I don’t use curry powder in a curry. Never ever, not at all, just no. It’s not bad (very good in fact) in a noodle soup or in mayonnaise though.
I made good from not-so-good. I made tasty from lack-lustre. I decided to get up and get on with it and do that same with Friday.
Ingredients to serve 2-3
100g pearl barley
30g fresh basil, shredded
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. dried chilli flakes
125g Tenderstem broccoli tips
3 red peppers cut into thick strips
7 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tsp. curry powder
- Boil the barley per the packet instructions and when it is cooked, drain it, wash it and leave it to a side.
- Roast the peppers in the oven at 180degrees until they blister and start to brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature.
- Boil the Tenderstem tips for 3 minutes.
- Heat the sesame oil in a pan and add the minced ginger and sauté for a minute on a light flame. Mix it well with the soy sauce and chilli flakes before combining it with the barley.
- Toss in the shredded basil, squeeze in half the lemon and mix it all well.
- In a bowl mix the mayonnaise and the other half of the lemon juiced and whip it all together with the curry powder.
- When the roasted red peppers have reached room temperature and the broccoli is cooked combine them with the barley and serve with the curried mayonnaise.