The Feast of Saint Mohammed

Barley Salad with Figs and Tarragon-Lemon Dressing

“In the sight of Allah, the best food is a food shared by many.” – Mohammed

Miniature from Rashid-al-Din Hamadani's Jami al-Tawarikh, c. 1315, illustrating the story of Muhammad's role in re-setting the Black Stone in 605.Tomorrow, June 8, is the Feast of the Magi: Saint Mohammed (570-632 e.v.). Born in Mecca, Mohammed (also known as Muhammad, Mahomet or Mahmud) was an “Arabic religious reformer, and founder of the Abrahamic Religion known as Islam. Crowley considered him to be a Magus of A:. A:., whose Word was LA ALLAH or LA AL, “No God” and his fundamental doctrine was that God is One. See Chapter 74 of Liber Aleph, Part III of The Heart of the Master, and Chapter 7 of The Book of Lies. Crowley’s version of Mohammed’s Word as Magus is taken from the Kalimah, the first clause of the Muslim Profession of Faith, the Shahadah. which is: La ilaha ill’ Allah, wa Muhammad rasul Allah, ‘There is no God, but God, and Mohammed is the Messenger of God.’” (from The Invisible Basilica of Sabazius, Mohammed, 570-632 e.v.)

It is written that Mohammed enjoyed eating barley, figs, dates, and honey. In his memory, why not enjoy this recipe?

Barley Salad with Figs and Tarragon-Lemon Dressing


For the barley:

  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup pearl barley
  • 1 (2- by 1-inch) strip lemon zest, optional
  • 3 peppercorns
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

For the salad, and to finish:

  • 1 medium lemon
  • ¼ cup chopped dried figs, preferably Greek or Turkish (4 to 6)
  • 2 medium stalks chopped celery, halved lengthwise if large, and cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 cup)
  • ½ cup finely chopped green onions, white and light green parts (about 4)
  • ½ cup chopped tangy apple, such as Macintosh or Granny Smith (about 1/2 apple)
  • 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tbs finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. To prepare the barley, bring the water, barley, lemon zest, peppercorns, and salt to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the barley is tender but still slightly chewy, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and, if you have time, let sit, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid and transfer the barley to a large serving bowl to cool. Remove the zest and the peppercorns.
  2. To prepare the salad, finely grate the zest of the lemon until you have 2 teaspoons zest. Squeeze the fruit to get 2 tablespoons juice (reserve leftover lemon for another use). Place the dried figs in a small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Set aside. Add the celery, green onions, and apple to the serving bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, the zest, and 2 teaspoons of the honey. Season with the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more honey if you like, and then stir in 1 tablespoon of the tarragon and 1 tablespoon of the parsley.
  4. To finish, add the barley and the plumped figs with any juices to the bowl and stir together. Drizzle on the dressing and toss to combine. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes for the flavors to mingle. Toss again, sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of tarragon and 1 tablespoon of parsley, and serve.

(Source: Kitchn)


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