Barley and Fennel Salad with Toasted Coriander Seeds and Almond by Carina Contini of Contini Restaurants in Edinburgh

The nuttiness of the barley and the crunch of the fennel and almonds are a delicious combination.
I like to soak my barley in cold water first for about 30 minutes if I’m making a salad.
This helps to remove the heavy, starchy taste and leaves a nuttier flavour.
For more information about Contini Restaurants visit https://www.contini.com.

INGREDIENTS: Serves 4
150g pearl barley
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying
2 tsp coriander seeds
100g whole blanched almonds
50g flat-leaf parsley leaves
50g mint leaves
50g coriander leaves
1 large fennel bulb
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
5 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper 

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METHOD
1 Put the barley in a large pan and cover with cold water. Leave for about 30 minutes. Rinse and return the barley to the pan. Add 300ml cold water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes until the barley is cooked but still has a little bite. Drain any remaining water and leave to cool.
2 Heat a small spoonful of olive oil in a shallow non stick-frying pan. When the oil is hot, add the coriander 
seeds and almonds. Cook for a few minutes until the almonds start to colour. Remove the coriander 
seeds and almonds from the pan with a slotted spoon and leave to cool slightly.
3 Meanwhile, chop the parsley, mint and coriander very finely. Add to the cooled barley. Trim and thinly slice the fennel and add to the mixture. Add the coriander seeds, almonds, chilli and lemon zest. Dress with the remaining olive oil and the rapeseed oil, the lemon juice and a good pinch of salt. Add pepper to taste.

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