I know, I know – three posts in one weekend. What is going on around here?

Well, mainly it’s me sprinting for the finishing line again – for this month’s No Croutons Required, hosted by the lovely Holler and Lisa. I just don’t work well without the pressure of a deadline…

Unfortunately, WordPress is not playing nicely today and doesn’t want to publish my pictures. Aaargh. Clearly it’s overwhelmed by my sudden spurt of productivity in the kitchen and has had enough.  (Update: oh no, it appears that there’s actually a gremlin in the system and the WordPress folks are trying to fix it. Although I see one of my pics has come up ok…)

Anyhoo, my entry is a butterbean and barley salad, with tangy beetroot-yoghurt sauce taken from Feasts by Silvena Rowe. Lots of lovely parsley and thyme too, since the theme for this month’s challenge was to create a herb-stuffed salad or soup. Handily, it’s also providing me with my lunch for the first few days of the week. Although the sauce is quite garlicky, so woe betide anyone who crosses my path/gets stuck in a meeting room with me tomorrow!

Butterbean and barley salad with beetroot and yoghurt dressing from Feasts by Silvena Rowe

Serves 4

You’ll need:

400g can white beans – anything will do – I used butterbeans because I had a tin lurking in the cupboard
200g cooked barley
50g sultanas (look closely, you’ll see I used raisins – oh, the shame)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
50g shelled walnuts, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
baby salad leaves to serve

For the dressing:

3 beetroots, washed
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
250ml thick yoghurt
35g ground walnuts

1. For the dressing, cook the beetroots in boiling water for anything from 20 to 45 minutes, until soft. Cool, then peel and place the flesh in a food processor with the garlic and yoghurt. Pulse until it is smooth and creamy. Pour into a bowl and stir in the ground walnuts.

2. In a large bowl, combine the beans, barley, sultanas, herbs and walnuts and mix well. Season to taste. Add the salad leaves and toss everything together gently.

3. Serve accompanied by the beeetroot and yoghurt dressing.

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