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July is such an exciting month with so many fruits and vegetables at the height of their season; it's an excellent time to visit a pick-your-own farm for broad beans, strawberries, gooseberries and summer raspberries. Keep an eye out for the last of the spring sorrel or forage for summer sheep sorrel to make this zingy barleyotto or replace it with watercress or rocket which are at their peak right now! Pearl barley makes a lovely change from rice, it has a nutty taste and robust texture which are a delight in this summery vegetarian dish - eat it alfresco with friends as the sun sets.

Spinach and Sorrel Barleyotto

Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a starter

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes


  • 150g pearl barley
  • 500ml vegetable stock or water
  • 250g spinach
  • 100g sorrel
  • 50g vegetarian style ‘parmesan’
  • 25g pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • salt to taste

Lemon Oil

  • 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
  • 2 tsp cold pressed rapeseed oil


  • Bring the pearl barley to the boil and simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Turn off and leave to cool covered. Drain through a sieve and keep the pearl barley cooking liquid.
  • Wilt the spinach and sorrel and drain through a sieve, keep the spinach water to add back to the barleyotto later.
  • Puree half the spinach and sorrel mix and roughly chop the rest.
  • Mix the lemon juice, zest and cold pressed rapeseed oil together to make the lemon oil.
  • In a saucepan gently heat up the pearl barley with the pureed and chopped spinach.
  • Add grated vegetarian ‘parmesan’ and pumpkin seeds, keeping some back to sprinkle on top.
  • Then stir in the lemon oil. Season to taste. You will then need to add a little spinach water and pearl barley cooking liquid to reach a soft moist risotto consistency.

Decorate with fresh herbs such as pea shoots.


Can be made with wild sorrel or garden sorrel or if you don’t have either, add in watercress or rocket.

A handful of our favourite recipes using summer leaves

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