Alma Mediterranea by Marcia Barrington

Recipes from the Mediterranean, Middle East & North Africa

Follow Marcia Barrington’s blog to discover new ways to enjoy fresh and exciting ingredients with her Mediterranean inspired recipes.

Tangle of tender-stem broccoli with barley, baby spinach & toasted seeds


A tangle of pearl barley, tenderstem broccoli and baby spinach leaves w mixed herbs & toasted seeds


Serves 4

200g Pearl barley

300g Tenderstem broccoli

Zest and juice of 1x small un-waxed lemon

1 small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced

125g baby spinach leaves

1x20g bunch each of dill and mint; picked and chopped

100g toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds

Malden salt. 


Quick lemon-chilli dressing

125ml olive oil 

Zest and juice 2 small lemons

1x finely diced red chilli (without seeds)

1x peeled garlic clove

4 tbsp. chopped coriander

Salt to taste


Cook the barley in plenty of salted boiling water for 15-20 minutes or until just tender.  Strain, set aside to cool then transfer to a mixing bowl.

Next, finely grate the zest of a lemon over the barley followed by its juice.

Blanch the trimmed broccoli, strain and set aside to cool.

For the dressing Place all of the ingredients in a screw top jar with lid and shake well.

Toast the seeds drizzled with a little olive oil in the oven at 180c/Gas4/350F for 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.


To assemble:

Add the broccoli, chopped herbs, baby spinach leaves, finely sliced red onion and ¾ of the mixed seeds to the barley. Pour over ¾ of the dressing and season to taste.

Gently toss the ingredients together using your hands. Transfer to a clean serving bowl. Scatter the remaining seeds over the top and drizzle with remaining dressing.