One of my favorite grains is barley. I love its earthy, chewiness and that as a "sturdy grain" it lends itself beautifully to soups and salads. I also love grain salads whether made with quinoa, bulgur wheat, or cous cous (okay that's a pasta and not a grain but still) and so it follows that I would love barley salads as well.
There is nothing worse than an under-seasoned grain (or pasta) salad and I think the miso adds big, bold flavor without having to add a bunch of salt. Fresh herbs also add lots of flavor. This is one of my faves and it's the perfect sunny side dish for a spring or summer day. I make a big batch of it and keep it in the fridge for weekday lunches and snacks.
- 2 cups of pearl (not flaked) barley, soaked overnight
- extra virgin olive oil
- juice of one Meyer lemon (about 2 tbsps)
Veggies/Legumes/Herbs: (a handful or so each, use all or some):
- chopped carrots
- chopped cucumber (I like the firmer Persian cukes)
- chopped celery (celery really goes well with this)
- chopped onion
- chopped green onion
- chopped tomato
- chopped broccoli florets
- chopped sugar snap peas
- 1 can of garbanzos, drained/rinsed
- minced fresh parsley
- minced fresh basil
- 1 clove of finely minced garlic and/or shallot
- 2 tbsps white (shiro) miso mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- fresh ground pepper
Drain the soaked barley and place in a pot with enough cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain in colander and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain well and dump into a big bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and lemon juice, toss and set aside. Chop veggies and add to bowl. Toss.
For the dressing: Put the miso into a bowl and add hot water. Whisk or mix with a fork until smooth. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and whisk to combine. Add pepper to taste. Add dressing to barley and veggies and toss well. Let sit at least 30 minutes to combine flavors before serving. Keeps really well in the fridge for several days.
Photo taken with with my iPhone. I am part of the post-DSLR Revolution, are you?