OK so, truth be told, this one is a little too much prep for your average weekday breakfast… but I’ve always been a big fan of eating breakfast for lunch – and to be honest, it’s often lunchtime by the time I get around to eating breakfast these days! SO whilst inspired by breakfast-y flavours, this wholesome bowl can certainly be enjoyed of any time of day.
I must admit, barley is not the quickest ingredient to cook – I included it here because I LOVE its chewy, nutty texture, however you could easily substitute the barley for rice, or any other grain, if you prefer.
Barley comes in two basic forms – hulled barley and pearl barley. Hulled barley has had only its tough outer hull removed, so is considered a ‘whole grain’, and has a nuttier texture.
Pearl barley is a slightly more refined grain – it has had its bran content removed, therefore the grain is a little paler in colour and softer in texture, and cooks faster than whole grain barley. Either can be used for this dish – pearl barley you’ll find in any supermarket, whereas hulled whole grain barley is more likely to be found in health food stores.
Ingredients (Serves Two)
1 cup of barley (either hulled or pearl)
150g smoked salmon
1 ripe avocado
150g tasty small brown mushrooms
Handful baby kale or baby spinach
Handful toasted hazelnuts
Butter (for cooking mushrooms)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook barley according to packet instructions. Usually, this entails covering 1 cup of barley with 2 cups of water and simmering for around 40 minutes (very similar to cooking rice – you can also cook it in a rice cooker if you have one). If you’re using hulled barley, it’s worth soaking overnight to reduce cooking time.
Once cooked, fluff your barley with a fork and stir through a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Season with salt and lemon zest, and set aside.
Boil your eggs to your liking – i.e. place egg/s in cold water in a saucepan, bring to the boil, and cook for 6 minutes for a soft boiled egg, or 8 minutes for hard boiled. Once cooked, set aside to cool slightly, before peeling.
Sauté your mushrooms in a fry pan with a little butter until they are golden and super tasty, seasoning with a little salt as you cook.
Slice your avocado, wash your greens.
Plate up your cooked barley, smoked salmon straight from the packet, sliced avocado and boiled eggs, greens and hazelnuts for a little unexpected crunch! Drizzle the whole dish with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve with a lemon wedge on the side.