Are you interested in adding more whole grains to your diet? Here's a salad I made last evening, inspired by Rebekah Marion of GroupRecipes. I added the diced tomato and think that crumbled feta cheese would be a great addition, too, for variety. If you have some fresh oregano, throw that in with your fresh herbs of choice. This is really one of those salads that you can easily personalize.
I already had some cooked barley in the freezer (it freezes beautifully!), so I used some of that and reduced the other ingredients to make just the right amount for two. The flavors are even more vibrant this morning, so be sure to make this salad several hours ahead of time and the barley will absorb the flavors of the citrus, herbs, and garlic. Serve a perfectly chilled California Sauvignon Blanc or an Italian Pinot Grigio with this salad.
Here is Rebekah's original recipe:
Barley Salad with Fresh Herbs
3 cups water 1 cup uncooked pearled barley 1/2 cup chopped green onions 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper 1/4 cup chopped flat Italian parsley 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves 2 TB chopped fresh mint leaves 1/4 cup Canola Oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1-2 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a sauce pan, combine water and barley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until barley is tender, 40-45 minutes. Drain barley (cool) and set aside. Combine green onions, red (bell) pepper, parsley, basil and mint in a large bowl. Toss in the cooked barley. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, minced garlic and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then toss into barley salad, stirring to combine well. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve room temperature or cold.