Simone's Kitchen

Pearl Barley with asparagus – Donna Hay #9


I’m not really going very fast with my Donna Hay challenge… I’m only at number 9!… But ok, slowly but surely. Right? The weather here is still nice and summery so that is all going well After long consideration we have finally decided to let the cats roam outside. We didn’t want to do that at first. They are total darlings but not particularly streetwise (how can they be, if they’ve never been outside you wonder, duh..!) But ofcourse you can never predict what will or what will not happen and in the end we decided that their well being has to come first and apparently cats that have the great outdoors are more likely to be happy cats. (or so I’ve been told)



The funny thing is that the biggest nervous bundle of them all, Buffy, was the first one outside and she is now roaming the garden like she has always done it. And the biggest bully of them all, Sookie, doesn’t particularly like being outside. Yesterday she sat on the doorstep all afternoon, calling out to her brother and sister with her saddest little voice… I guess she will get used to it, as today she decided to venture out herself.

For now they are staying fairly close to home (which is good for my mental well being) but I suspect that will not last long!



I don’t have any outdoors photos of the gang, so here a little picture of them indoors. It’s been soooo long ago you might have forgotten what they look like… And I just find out I don’t have any recent pictures from Sookie, so need to work on that. It’s no surprise as she doesn’t like the camera very much.. In the meantime, while I go and chase cats, I have this delicious salad to share with you!


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Pearl Barley with asparagus |
Pearl Barley salad with asparagus
Prep Time
15 hrs 51 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Course: Salad
Servings: 2 people
Author: Donna Hay
  • 330 gr pearl barley
  • 750 ml  vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves of garlic squashed
  • seasalt freshly ground black pepper
  • 400 gr aspergus
  • 160 gr almonds roughly chopped
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley finely cup
  • 80 ml lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • lamb's lettuce
  1. Place the pearl barley, stock, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a tightfitting lid and cook for 40 minutes or until the barley is tender. Rinse under cold running water and drain well.
  2. Place the barley in a large bowl with the asparagus, almonds, parsley, lemon juice, honey and oil and toss to combine.
  3. Cook the eggs in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 6-7 minutes. Refresh under cold running water, peel and cut in half. Divide the barley salad between bowls and top with the egg




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  1. A delicious dish and combination! Humphrey and Buffy are so cute…



  2. Hi Simone,

    I normally soak the barley (or other grains/legumes) overnight before cooking, otherwise they take me ages to become tender. How come yours look edible without soaking? (maybe the problem is mine, lol)

    • I think the reason for this is that we use precooked barley. So they are really quick to prepare. I am actually not even a 100% sure that what I’ve been using is the same as real barley. They sell it here in the stores as tarly, but it’s essentially a grain. Precooked so you just have to cook it for another 15 minutes or so and it’s done

  3. Lovely dish! An egg always make everything better, doesn’t it? Nice to see kitty pictures again! Hope your cats have a swell (and safe!) experience.

  4. This sounds so healthy, and love all the vibrant colors in this dish! I am addicted to asparagus, could eat it in almost anything…..except maybe dessert LOL! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

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