Definitely serve this over my Grilled Chicken w/ Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Garlic Sauce. If you have never tried pearl barley- you should- it is one of my favorite grains (low in fat and pretty high in fiber). It is like a puffier piece of rice; delicious cold or hot- in soups or salads. I made an in-between version which is hot barley over cold crisp vegetables tossed with a vinaigrette. The hot barley soaks up the vinaigrette, then the crunch of the veggies and oh soooo goood!
I was on a clean-out-and-use-up-everything-in-the-fridge spree this week because we are going to motorcycle track this weekend (super excited! pics to follow!) Anyway, basically you can swap out any veggies you have lying around in the fridge. Just cut them all into similar bite sized pieces. Also you can use whatever nuts you have lying around- almonds or walnuts would be good here too. This salad is good for picnics because it is in a vinaigrette and can be left out.
- 1 cup of uncooked pearl barley, 2 1/2 cups of water, 1 tsp of salt
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- 1 pepper, diced (I used a yellow one)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 handful of parsley, chopped
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 1 ear of corn, kernels taken off (about a 1/2-3/4 cup of frozen if you don't have fresh)
- 3 tbsp of pine nuts, toasted*
- 1/4 cup of lime or lemon juice (if you don't get that much out of 1 lime or lemon just add a splash of vinegar)
- a little less than 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Cook the pearl barley according to directions (the first bullet lists what I used). Bring water to a boil and cook barley on low for about 30-45 minutes.
- Meanwhile prep all your veggies, herbs and nuts and add to a large bowl.
- In a smaller bowl add the citrus juice, oil and salt and pepper and whisk up.
- When the barley is done mix with veggies. Then pour vinaigrette over everything and stir until combined. Serve alone or over my Grilled Chicken w/ Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Garlic Sauce.
*If you buy raw nuts, just put them in a dry skillet and heat on medium. They will toast up in the skillet- but ALWAYS keep an eye on the them and shake the pan frequently, you don't want them to burn. Should only take about 5 minutes or so.