Tarragon, Apple & Barley Salad from Krissy @ Cottage Farm!

I’m Krissy from Cottage Farm and I have the pleasure of posting here today on Fuggle Antics. We decided to exchange recipes and share them on our respective blogs. I jumped at the chance! It is such a lovely way to foster creativity and meet new people. On my own blog, I try to find something to inspire each post. Typically it is something very simple and quite often it comes from a conversation or meeting with another creative individual. I often find a simple conversation, a word that’s used or an ingredient mention, can plant the seed of an idea.

The recipe below was inspired by one of these conversations. A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend about overlooked and underused herbs tarragon was at the top of the list. It is a lovely wispy herb which smacks with a sharp grassy acidity and a lovely anise or licorice type flavour. I since set about working on a recipe to showcase this beautiful herb and hopefully bring something new to the table. I found it to pair well with many autumnal ingredients like pumpkin, mushrooms and potatoes but was most excited about the way it tasted with apple. Crispy sweet and sharp, the apple really plays off the earthier flavours of the tarragon. For this salad, make sure to use an apple with good acidity and firm sweet flesh.

It is up to you if you want to peel them or not, but I like the texture of the peel left on.

I used barley to round out the salad but something like nutty farro works equally well. Remember to soak your grains overnight, in clean cool water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to help break down the phytic acid. This will help to get the most nutrients out of the grains and make them easier to digest.

Rinse them again in cold water before cooking.


Serves 4-6

250 g Barley, washed and soaked overnight
5 cloves
3 bay leaves
1 star anise
¼ cup loose packed fresh tarragon leaves
½ small red onion, diced
2 small to medium apples, chopped core and seeds removed
1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp toasted fennel seeds, crushed.
¼ powdered ginger
Juice from half a lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil

In a small skillet toast the fennel seeds over medium high heat until they are just fragrant.

Remove from heat and grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

Place the cloves, bay leaves and star anise in a pot of water. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat and slowly add in the rinsed and drained barley. Let the pot return to a boil then turn the heat back to simmer. Cook the barley 12 15
minutes or until soft but still toothsome. Drain and discard the cloves, star anise and bay leaves, leave barley to cool and dry.

Place the red onion in the bottom of a nonreactive bowl and pour the salt, fennel seed, ginger, apple cider vinegar and rice wine vinegar over the top. Add the chopped apple and pour over the lemon juice. Toss well to combine making sure the apple it well coated in the mixture so it does not brown.

Add the barley combine gently, then mix through the tarragon leaves and the olive oil.

Taste and season with more salt if desired.

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