Blue cheese, butternut & barley salad with maple walnuts

Blue cheese, butternut & barley salad with maple walnuts

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(3 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 45 mins

Skill level



Serves 6

Salads don't get much more robust than this- team roasted onions and squash, deep-flavoured cheese, crunchy nuts and healthier grains

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Vegetarian
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks, seeds reserved
  • 2 red onions, each cut into quarters
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
  • 3½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • handful thyme sprigs, leaves stripped, plus extra to garnish
  • 300g pearl barley
  • 50g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1½ tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 100g baby spinach, shredded
  • 140g blue cheese, thinly sliced

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  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the squash, onions and garlic with 2 tbsp of the oil and some seasoning. Roast for 35-45 mins or until the vegetables crisp up in places – turning halfway through cooking and adding the thyme leaves. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, discarding the garlic. Cook the barley, following pack instructions, until al dente. Drain and cool.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse the squash seeds, removing any flesh, and dry thoroughly. Put the walnuts and squash seeds in a frying pan and toast until golden brown. Add ½ tbsp oil, the maple syrup, sugar, chilli flakes and some salt. Let it bubble for a few mins, until the sugar has caramelised. Tip onto a tray, allow to cool, then bash into pieces. Make a dressing by mixing the balsamic, mustard, remaining oil and some seasoning.
  3. Toss the squash and onions through the barley, followed by the spinach and dressing. Scatter over the cheese, nuts and some extra thyme sprigs to serve.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2013

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melbez's picture
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I am so surprised this recipe doesn't have more ratings. It is absolutely delicious. I used feta cheese instead of blue cheese as one of my guests was pregnant and it still tasted very good. The walnut and seed mix is devine. I let my seeds sit in the sun for about an hour so they were crunchy enough after toasting in the pan.

felicityd's picture
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I'd definitely recommend using Colston Bassett blue cheese - delicious!

harrish's picture
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Great tasty salad. I cooked the barley in veg stock for extra flavour and didn't add the walnuts as I'm not keen on them. The squash seed brittle was unusual but mine was a bit soft so I ate it separately!!



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