Saffron Infused Pearl Barley with Rocket, Pomegranate & Chickpea
To borrow a phrase from my blogger friend Teagan of Teagan’s Books, at times a particular ingredient leads me to a recipe.
In Teagan’s case, she lets ingredients provided by her readers shape episodes of her Three Ingredient serial.
In my case, today’s recipe was guided by boiled chickpea leftover from Avocado and Chickpea Spread.
My kooky imagination thought of combining the chickpea with some pearl barley and to add a bit of colour and fragrance, decided to cook the barley with a pinch of saffron.
To add to the mix, managed to get some peppery rocket (arugula) and fresh pomegranate and that’s how this recipe was born.
Apart from being low in calorie, rocket “has many vital phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can immensely benefit health.”
Pomegranate is full of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium. It helps in fighting cell damage, controlling weight, reducing cholesterol lowering risk of cancer (specially prostate and breast) and lowering risk of heart disease.
a bowl of different colours and textures makes this one a healthy meal
Rocket may not be to everyone’s taste in which case you can use spinach, kale or watercress.
I didn’t add tomato but am including them in the ingredient list because I think it will improve the taste (and as a future reference for myself).
1/2 Cup uncooked pearl barley
A pinch of saffron
1 Chicken stock cube (you can substitute with vegetable if you prefer)
1 Cup boiled chickpea
A handful of rocket leaves
1/2 Cup fresh pomegranate seeds
1 Yellow pepper
8-10 Pearl onion
2 Ripe tomatoes
1-2 Tablespoons seeds of your choice (I used pumpkin and sunflower)
1 Tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
1-2 Teaspoons olive oil
- To cook the barley, put about 3 to 4 cups of water and stock cube in a pot. Bring to boil and ad the barley and saffron. Lower heat, cover and let the barley cook for 45 minutes. You can do this ahead of time if you like.
- Dry roast the seeds till they turn a couple of shades darker. Set aside.
- Peel and wash the pearl onions.
- Wash, de-core, de-seed and chop the pepper.
- Wash and chop the tomato.
- Wash and dry the rocket leaves.
- Heat the oil in pan.
- Lower the heat and add the pearl onion and tomato with salt to taste. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the pepper, mix, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Next, add the cooked pearl barley, chickpea and rocket.
- Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat, add the roasted seeds and pomegranate along with balsamic vinegar.
- Toss well and serve.