Jewelled Pearl Barley with Mint & Orange Blossom Dressing

Every so often a new recipe book is published that gets everyone talking. Once such book is ‘On the Side‘, a book of inspiring dishes from Rocket & Squash, a food journal created by Ed Smith. When the book was published a couple of weeks ago, Instagram literally went mad – I mostly follow people in the food business – because everyone was in rapture. It’s undoubtedly a great book but what’s interesting about it is the fact that it’s dedicated to the creation of really, really sexy side dishes. This is perfect for non meat eaters like us because we exist on a diet of side dishes. That’s why we love mezzes so much because we can put as many dishes as we like on our table to provide a feast that takes us all over the world in dozens of pops of taste and colour. It’s exciting. As part of the herb-inspired luncheon I created for ‘A Still Life Workshops‘ yesterday, I included Ed’s jewelled pearl barley recipe and it blew everyone away.


The only adaptions I made to this version was to replace the sour cherries with dried cranberries (because I couldn’t find any) and I added some pomegranate arils for a hint of sourness. I made the – truly magical – dressing a day in advance so all the flavours could infuse.

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