SPICY BARLEY SALAD WITH EGGPLANT, BELL PEPPER, ONION, CUMIN AND BASIL

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I’m not particularly afraid of dying, I can’t say that I really look forward to it right now but I suspect that one day I may, like my father did for various reasons, but last week I suddenly realized something that brought tears to my eyes. I was watching a program about astronomy and some of the research that is being done and I suddenly realized that I will never know about all the discoveries that will be made after my death and it made me really sad. I think it will take quite some time for me to come to terms with this horrible ‘discovery’, it feels quite unfair. If I were a believer I suppose I could hope to get to know it in some way or another but I’m not and I have to accept this immense loss. On the other hand I won’t have to see all the disasters and horrible things that will happen so I better concentrate on that aspect.

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I think I have found the salad for this summer. I don’t know if it happens to you but almost every season I find a dish that I make over and over again just because I like it so much and I think this is going to be the case with this barley salad. The mix of different textures – the sautéed eggplant and the crispy bell pepper, the chewy barley and the crunchy onion – makes every mouthful a happy one and the addition of cumin and basil gives it a spicy tinge that make me like it even more.

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SPICY BARLEY SALAD WITH EGGPLANT, BELL PEPPER, ONION, CUMIN AND BASIL

Cooked barley
Eggplant
Red bell pepper
Onion
Fresh basil
Cumin seeds
Salt
Extra virgin olive oil

– Dice the eggplant and sauté it until golden together with the cumin seeds, not too much, it doesn’t have to be too dominant a flavour. If you want you can toast them lightly before adding them.
– Cut the bell pepper into quite small pieces, slice the onion thinly and mix them with the barley.
– Add the eggplant, take care to add the cumin seeds as well, the basil torn into small pieces, salt and olive oil.
– Mix well and serve!

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L