Carrots are centre stage here cooked with honey and the African spice Ras el Hanout. Chewy barley and dates, crunchy hazelnuts, tender beans and the liquorice bite of raw fennel round out this hearty picnic salad.
1 kilogram thick, chunky carrots, cut into 1cm rings
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons runny honey
2 tablespoons Ras el Hanout or other Middle Eastern spice mix
1¼ cups barley or farro
400 gram tin each pinto and cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
300 grams green beans, blanched (I used flat beans)
1 small fennel bulb, sliced
½ cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
4 fresh dates, pitted and quartered
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grain mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon honey
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan bake.
Put the carrots on a large baking tray and toss with the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Spread into a single layer and roast for 20 minutes. Drizzle over the honey and sprinkle with the Ras el Hanout. Pop back in the oven for 5 minutes or until just tender. Cool.
Cook the barley or farro according to the packet instructions, adding a couple of bay leaves if desired. Rinse in cold water and drain well.
DRESSING: Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
TO SERVE: Add all the ingredients to the dressing and toss well. Transfer to a serving dish or portable container.