Fig, roast red onion, feta and barley salad

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes
  • Total time: 55 minutes

Serves: 4-6


3 red onions, each sliced into 8 wedges
2 tsp fennel seeds
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
150g pearl barley
300g small figs, trimmed and halved
200g feta, crumbled
90g rocket leaves
1 small garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice


1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. In a large roasting tin, toss the red onion with the fennel seeds and 2 tbsp olive oil. Season, spread out well and roast for 35-40 minutes, stirring once, until browned and soft.

2. Meanwhile, put the barley in a medium saucepan with a generous pinch of salt; cover with cool, salted water and a lid. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Partially uncover and leave to cook for 25-30 minutes, until the grains are just tender (they should still be chewy). Drain and set aside.

3. Spoon the red onions (reserving the tin with the juices) onto a large serving platter with the figs, feta, rocket and cooked barley. Toss gently to combine.

4. To make the dressing, put the crushed garlic in a small bowl with the vinegar and remaining 3 tbsp olive oil; season and stir this into the red onion roasting tin, scraping with a wooden spoon to release any fennel seeds and caramelised onion. Add the lemon juice and pour the dressing over the salad. Toss through gently before serving