Persian Chicken & Roasted Plum Salad

Nutty, high-fibre pearl barley is the base of this flavour-packed salad, tossed with lightly fried halloumi cheese, crunchy pistachios, sweet plums and pumpkin. The addition of chicken is a great source of lean protein. The salad pairs very well fresh mint, parsley and lemon. It is a fabulously filling salad which can be a perfect meal for lunch or dinner.

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Ingredients

  • 200 g pearl barley
  • 800 g butternut pumpkin, seeded, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 ripe plums, quartered
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp mint, finely chopped
  • 400 g chicken breast fillets
  • 35 g pistachios, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 100 g halloumi cheese, grilled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 lemon, zested, juiced

barley halloumi & chicken salad1_wm

Directions

  1. Cook the barley in a large saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes or until tender. Refresh under cold water. Drain well.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Scatter the pumpkin over the lined tray. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds and season. Roast for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the plums to the baking tray and roast for a further 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender and the plums are just softened.
  4. Combine the paprika, cinnamon, chopped mint, 1 tablespoon of remaining oil and the remaining cumin in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to evenly coat in the spice mixture. Season.
  5. Place the chicken on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake with the pumpkin for the last 12-15 minutes of cooking time or until cooked through. Cover the chicken with foil and set aside for 5 minutes to rest. Coarsely shred the chicken.
  6. Place the barley in a large bowl. Add the pumpkin, plum, chicken, pistachios, halloumi, mint leaves and parsley. Drizzle with lemon juice and remaining oil and gently toss to combine. Divide the salad mixture among serving plates. Sprinkle with lemon zest to serve.

barley halloumi & chicken salad2_wm

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Recipe adopted from Coles

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