Barley Salad

In the summer, it’s easy to notice growth.  Fruits and vegetables compress a whole life cycle into a season, and change is constant.  Today, I noticed that the apple tree on my morning run just right now actually smells like fresh apples.  Yesterday, it held only small green fruit and before that it scented the air with blossoms.  Next month it might smell heady and rotten.  But just right now, fresh.  And so Barley Salad…

We make this Barley Salad to showcase veggies that are coming into their own just right now too—Summer Squash, Juliette Tomatoes, Sweet Red and Yellow Peppers, and Onions.  It has lots of parsley and feta cheese and is dressed with lemony vinaigrette.  Barley is in the title, but you can use any sort of grain.  I actually found a grain mix at Costco called Whole Grain Fusion that has brown rice, red rice, barley, and rye berries.  It has a great texture and flavor and honestly, I was too lazy to run to the grocery store for barley.

Note: this Barley Salad seems to fill up whatever bowl you put it in.  Take it to a party, or be prepared to eat Barley Salad for a few days.

Here’s what you need:

1 C. uncooked barley or other whole grain
¼ C. onions, chopped
¼ C. fresh parsley, chopped
1 pint Juliette tomatoes, halved
1 sweet red pepper and 1 sweet yellow pepper, both chopped
1 zucchini or yellow squash, sliced thin
½ C. feta cheese

Juice of 1 lemon
¼ C. good olive oil
2 T. vinegar
½ t. oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:

Put the barley in a pot with 3 cups water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and the grain is tender.  Cool completely. (You may have to adjust this a little bit for other grains.  Check out the directions on the package, but be prepared to use about a cup of the dried stuff.)

Combine the grain, the chopped veggies, and the feta in a big bowl.  Wisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, oregano, and salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Stir the dressing into the Barley Salad and chill.  Serve and enjoy.

Hope that you are enjoying these last few weeks of August.

See You at the Market.