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Barley Salad with Roasted Squash and Fennel

Barley Salad with Roasted Squash and Fennel by The Culinary ChaseIt can be a challenge keeping your kids healthy when they live at home but when they leave the nest for university or boarding schools this can be a bigger challenge.

We’re happy to be back in Nova Scotia for many reasons and one of those is that Laura is able to hop on a bus and within a couple of hours she’s home.

Such was the case last weekend…she wanted to come home and get well so she could celebrate the much awaited X-Ring ceremony.  The X-Ring is a coveted ring from St. Francis Xavier University.  And it’s not just any school ring.  It was created in 1942 by Willie MacDougall but before that, each graduating class appointed a committee to design a pin for their class with its own motto.  The first ring ceremony took place in 1958.  The ceremony, which is a formal event, is held every year on the 3rd of December and is regarded by the StFX students as the highlight of their university life.  In order to qualify for the ring, students must have at least 103 credits.  The ring is noted for being the third most recognized in the world behind the Pope ring and the super bowl ring.  Laura, like most other students at St.FX, had a digital countdown to the ceremony at least a year in advance!  She was so excited to get her ring she didn’t know if she could sleep the night before… it was as if she was 5 again anxiously waiting for Santa Claus.

X-Ring ceremony

Serves 4
adapted from River Cottage VEG

small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed (view video)
1 garlic clove, chopped
3/4 cup pearl barley, rinsed
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (more if you like)
handful parsley, roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

barley by The Culinary Chase1. Preheat the oven to 375f.  Arrange squash in a large roasting pan. Add a splash of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Toss and place in the oven to roast. Meanwhile, cut the fennel lengthways into 6 or 8 wedges.

2. After 15 minutes, add the fennel and garlic to the roasting pan with the squash and another tablespoon of olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and starting to caramelize around the edges.

3. While the veggies are roasting, cook the barley in plenty of salted boiling water until tender, but still with just a bit of nutty bite; around 25 minutes. Drain well and leave to cool a little (or completely for a cold salad). Toss with the roasted veg, and any oil from the roasting pan, lemon juice, cheese, parsley and any fennel fronds. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Shave over some more cheese and serve warm or cold.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: This salad tastes great hot, warm or cold! Serve it as a side or as a main meal. Enjoy!

The X-Ring is proudly being displayed!

The X-Ring is proudly being displayed!

The post Barley Salad with Roasted Squash and Fennel appeared first on The Culinary Chase.

About Heather Chase

The Culinary Chase was coined by my husband whilst in a coffee shop in Hong Kong back in 2006. We wanted something that would be a play on my last name and by the time we finished our coffee, the name was born. As long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed cooking. It wasn’t until we moved to Asia that I began to experiment using herbs and spices in my everyday cooking. Not only do they enhance the flavor of food but also heighten it nutritionally. Over the years, I began to change our diet to include more vegetables, pulses, whole grains and less red meat. Don’t get me wrong, we love our meat, just not in super-size portions (too hard for the body to digest). I always use the palm of my hand as a guide to portion control when eating red meat. If the meat is larger than my hand, I save that portion for another day. Also, if the veggies on your plate look colorful (think the colors of the rainbow) – red, green, yellow, orange etc. then you’re most likely getting the right amount of nutrients per meal. I post recipes that I think help maintain a healthy body. I use the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time I make a conscious effort to eat healthy and 20% for when I want french fries with gravy (poutine). Balance is the key and to enjoy life with whatever comes my way. Thanks for visiting!


The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.


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