First Fresh New Zealand

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1 C barley
3 C water
½ C walnuts
½ tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp of cinnamon
3 First Fresh persimmons, sliced (skin on)
1 tsp cinnamon
olive oil
season with salt and pepper
2 onions, peeled and sliced
¼ C pitted dates, sliced


3 tbsp lemon juice + rind
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
  2. Place barley and water in a pot and bring to the boil (foam will rise up covering barley, then turn down and simmer for 40 mins, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom), until barley is soft (may need to add more water).
  3. Gently caramelise walnuts in maple syrup and cinnamon in a pan on medium heat.
  4. Slice persimmons (3mm thick) and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with cinnamon, a splash of olive oil and a grind of salt and pepper and bake until golden (approx 25 mins).
  5. Put all dressing ingredients into a nutribullet or blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Slice onions and place in a pan with olive oil. Gently cook until caramelised and season with salt & pepper.
  7. Place the cooked barley in a pan with olive oil and fry on low heat for 10 mins, add the caramelised onions and keep cooking for another 5 mins.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Assemble the salad by combining the barley, persimmons, chopped dates, walnuts and dressing, toss to combine.
  10. Add baby spinach leaves if you want to bulk up the salad.
  11. Garnish with mint or more chopped maple walnuts. Serve room temperature