Barley and sweet potato salad with tahini dressing

26 Jan

The war will be won on the smorgasboard.

Well, perhaps, let’s not say ‘war’, lest we appear militant ‘why don’t you slaughter a cow yourself?’ vegetarians. Christmas Day in the Woman household is in Australia, which generally means outdoor cricket, sunburn and tables groaning with all manner of foods. Despite the very best efforts of Woman’s parents (steak tartare, brains, kidneys and all that usual kid food), two of their three progeny are vegetarian. Success. A section of the buckling smorgasboard table was designated with vegetarian proteins as well as slow-cooked hams and pork.

The victory is here: the omnivores liked this salad. This vegan salad. (Even the tandoori tofu also gained a few fans!). Christmas truly is a magical time.

As the good Jonathan Safran Foer said at a recent talk on his Eating Animals book at LSE, the best advertisement for vegetarianism is eating well. Consider this Coca Cola.

Tahini sauce

  • 1 C tahini
  • 1/2 C water
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • Salt (plenty)


  • 2 C pearl barley
  • 1.5 medium sweet potatoes
  • Bunch of  parsley (around 1 C chopped)

Barley is great. That’s the first step in this recipe. It’s fantastic. I hope to eat more of it in life. (I soaked it before using it here. Not sure if that’s necessary)

So, mix ingredients of tahini sauce. Do so to taste.

Meanwhile, cut sweet potatoes into cubes and bake in a 200C oven for 30 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

While all this is going on, cook barley in about 2 C of water for about 15 minutes. Drain.

Mix the whole lot with chopped parsley and serve hot or cold. Win over a tough Christmas crowd.

Musical accompaniment: Some terrible Christmas compilation

Estimated cost: Unknown. Purchased in Australian dollars, so perhaps a gazillion pounds.


One Response to “Barley and sweet potato salad with tahini dressing”


  1. Sweet Potatoes & Barley | veggievinyasa - February 23, 2012

    […] be the judge and tell me what to call it) was simple and full of rich wintery goodness. I used this recipe, modifying along the way with what I had in the kitchen. I’ll give you a list of what I used, […]

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