When I think of barley, I think of stew. Hearty beef and barley stew on a cold winter day. I now have a newfound admiration for barley and its at the completely opposite spectrum. Cold barley salad with vegetables on a warm summer day. This salad is so addictive, it puts regular lettuce salads to shame.
The barley and dressing alone tastes incredible and I will admit, I snuck a couple spoonfuls before adding the vegetables. Tossed together with some fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese creates a salad that’s filling and delectable.
For such a small chewy grain, barley brings so much more to the table than just incredible texture. It’s soothing to the digestive tract and liver, heals stomach ulcers and lowers cholesterol.
Vegetable Medley & Barley Salad (adapted from Sprouted Kitchen)
1 Cup pearled barley, rinsed
3 Cups Water
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
1 Large Zucchini, sliced into half circles
1 Yellow Pepper, diced
1 Orange Pepper, diced
2 Cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup Parsley, finely chopped
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper
In a medium pot, add rinsed barley and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until tender. Drain any excess water, transfer to a large mixing bowl and mix in garlic and just a pinch of salt while the grains are still hot. Stir together. Add oil, honey and vinegar, stir again to coat and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat about 1 tbsp olive oil. Add zucchini and let cook on medium high heat until slightly browned and cooked through, 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a side plate. Add yellow pepper and a touch more oil, cook for a few minutes, just enough to take the edge off, but still crispy. Transfer to side plate. Repeat with orange pepper.
Once zucchini and peppers have cooled, add to mixing bowl with barley and stir together. Toss in quartered tomatoes, basil and parsley. Season with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Mix together and add extra fresh herbs and vinegar if needed.