Adapted from: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/blue-cheese-butternut-barley-salad-maple-walnuts
We're first in line for rich, indulgent dinners and hearty meals for autumn/winter but hear us out, make a few changes to your spring/summer salads and add a little warmth to create mouth-watering meals for the change in season.
This warm butternut squash and pearl barley salad with vegan Blue cheese can be enjoyed hot or cold - either as star of the show or a side dish - drizzled (or drenching!) in a classic dressing, with maple candied walnuts and squash seeds for a little crunch.
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Toss the squash, onions and garlic with 2 tbsp of the oil and some seasoning. Roast for 35-45 mins or until the vegetables crisp up in places – turning halfway through cooking and adding the thyme leaves. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, discarding the garlic.
2. Cook the barley, following pack instructions, until al dente. Drain and cool.
3. Meanwhile, rinse the squash seeds, remove any flesh, and dry thoroughly. Put the walnuts and squash seeds in a frying pan and toast until golden brown. Add ½ tbsp oil, the maple syrup, sugar, chilli flakes and some salt. Let it bubble for a few mins, until the sugar has caramelised. Tip onto a tray, allow to cool, then bash into pieces.
4,. Make a dressing by mixing the balsamic, mustard, remaining oil and some seasoning.
5. Assemble by tossing the squash and onions through the barley, followed by the spinach and dressing. Scatter over the cheese, nuts and some extra thyme sprigs to serve.