Issue: 2017-02-08, PHOTO: Sydney Oland
Sausage and arugula with a big spoonful of grainy mustard.
There’s a point every winter when rich stews, casseroles and braises start to become more of a burden than a pleasure. And yet a light meal doesn’t feel right either.
It’s at this trying moment that turning to a hearty meat-studded salad is the only solution. Using a combination of grains and freshly toasted croutons makes this a satisfying winter meal that will help with the inevitable monotony of seasonal eating.
Use any sort of sausage that’s in your freezer or is a particular family favourite. Any variety of local game sausage (moose is my favourite) would be excellent, but a pack of bratwurst from the grocery store is absolutely delicious as well.
If you’re looking to plan ahead you can make the barley and dressing a couple days in advance and simply roast the sausage before you serve – just make sure to let the barley mixture come up to room temperature before you serve it. And any leftovers you have makes a great brown bag lunch for the next day.
Roasted Sausages with Arugula and Barley
1 pound sausage (8-10 links)
4 slices sandwich bread, cubed
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 cup barley, cooked according to package directions
2 bunches arugula
Olive oil, to garnish
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Grainy mustard, to garnish
1. Set oven at 425ºF. Place sausages on a lined baking sheet. Toss bread cubes with ¼ cup olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Roast sausages for 15 minutes, turning them halfway through. Remove baking sheet from oven and scatter bread cubes between the sausages, make sure the cubes are in a single layer as much as possible. Place back in the oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the sausages are browned and cooked through, and the bread is brown and crisp.
2. While the sausages are roasting, whisk together remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and grainy mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with cooked barley and let sit at room temperature.
3. When the sausages are fully cooked remove them from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes. Scatter the arugula over a platter and drizzle with olive oil. Toss barley on top of arugula then top with sausage and toasted bread. Top with parsley and serve with grainy mustard.