Pearl Barley, Pomegranate and Parsley Salad

To cook the pearl barley, tip it into a saucepan and cover it with more than twice the volume of water. Bring to the boil, simmer for about 30 minutes until the barley is cooked, and drain. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, then drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil, and add the balsamic vinegar or the red-wine vinegar, whichever you're using. Toss together well, then allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, cut the pomegranate in half around the equator. Place the cut side of the fruit on your fingers, palm side up, over a bowl, and tap the skin with the bowl of a wooden spoon - the seeds will fall into the bowl. Repeat with the other half of the pomegranate, then toss with the sprigs of flat-leaf parsley.

Add the pomegranate seed and parsley mixture to the pearl barley, then add more salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary. Turn into a serving dish and eat as soon as posible.