You need to balance flavours in this recipe. Squeezing over lime or lemon juice adds acidity, along with the sumac, and red chilli flakes add heat, with the fresh herbs adding freshness.
Adding salt will balance acidity.
4 small-medium orange kūmara (each weighing about 200g), scrubbed
olive oil for drizzling
1 cup pearl barley
1 small red onion
1 tsp sumac
½ telegraph cucumber, cut in half lengthwise (seeds removed, optional), and thinly sliced
2 oranges, segmented and juice collected
juice of 1 lime or ½ lemon, or more to taste
a good pinch of dried red chilli flakes
1 handful each of mint leaves, parsley leaves and coriander leaves, torn if large
Heat the oven to 200°C. Line a shallow roasting dish with baking paper and put in the kūmara. Prick each one with a small sharp knife a couple of times. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Put in the oven and roast for 40–45 minutes until completely tender.
Remove from the oven and using the base of a small saucepan, smash each kūmara to flatten a little. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pearl barley in boiling water for 20–25 minutes until tender. Drain well and leave to cool a little before transferring to a large bowl.
Very finely slice the red onion and put in a small bowl. Add the sumac and toss well.
When the kūmara are ready, add the cucumber slices, orange segments, about 2 tablespoons of the collected juice, lime or lemon juice, chilli flakes and herbs to the pearl barley. Drizzle in a little olive oil and gently toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
Put the kūmara on 4 plates and top with pearl barley salad. (Any extra salad can be served separately or kept in the fridge for the following day.) Top with the red onion slices.
Recipe and Images by Kathy Paterson