Monday, May 25, 2009

Barley Salad

Hope everyone has had a nice relaxing Memorial Day. We had a little family get together and grilled various and assorted meats, and I put together this unusual salad to go along with it.
I saw Alton Brown praising all things barley on one of his episodes, and this was one of the dishes he made. He is using "hulled" barley which I couldn't find. I think it is somewhat less processed than the pearl barley that I used.
You have to start with 3 1/2 to 4 cups baked barley. Alton says to combine one cup barley with one tbsp unsalted butter, tsp kosher salt and 2 cups boiling water. Cover very tightly and bake at 375 for 1 hour. Remove cover and fluff with a fork. (apparently this step is very important...don't skip it or he will hunt you down like a dawg!) Picky girl child actually liked this...as is!
The dressing is easy enough. It's 3 tbsp of fresh orange juice with a little kosher salt and 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil. (I think for kicks a splash of some sort of vinegar would be great in there too).
Next combine the barley with: 1 small head of chopped fennel, 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, 1/2 cup grated parmesan, 4 slices crumbled (cooked) bacon, 2 tbsp fresh parsley, and fresh ground black pepper.
Combine it all with the dressing, and refrigerate about 1 hour.

I really enjoyed this dish, and thought it was a nice change from the usual pasta salad. Would definitely try it again!

18 comments:

Donna-FFW said...

Julie- That salad sounds delicious, unusual ingredients but it sounds like it so worked, and the dressing so simple, but I bet so flavorful!

Ingrid said...

Hm, these sounds and looks interesting. Must have been good if your picky one liked it!
~ingrid

the ungourmet said...

This is a beautiful and healthy looking salad! Nice job! I have some barley in my cupboard that I need to use up, this would be perfect!

teresa said...

This looks and sounds fantastic. I just need to find me some barley!

5 Star Foodie said...

I've never had a barley salad - it sounds delicious and very flavorful!

Ironjack said...

That looks very yummy. Course it's from Alton it's gotta be yummy :)

Christina Kim said...

Julie, thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog! I am so happy to meet new bloggers. Anyway, I adore barley, particularly for its fiber content (I'm a bit obsessed with fiber), and this salad looks fantastic! I often make a barley risotto, which you make just like a regular rice risotto, except the pearl barley must be soaked the night before. It ends up being the same creamy texture as rice risotto, but much more nutritious and filling! I look forward to following your blog!

noble pig said...

I love barley, it is a wonderful diversion, I even use it in stews!

Marta said...

Lovely salad! I'm all about these ancient grains as well, they just have such a nice bite to them. And these salads are absolutely perfect for summer picnics.
Thanks!

The Blonde Duck said...

We just watched that episode! Now I've got barley on the brain!

The Muse said...

I find it most intriguing that you call for kosher salt...may I ask if there is a specific reason? Can other salt be used?

Is unsalted butter used due to the addition of the kosher salt? :)

I love salads!

Julie said...

I'm not sure why it has to be kosher. I'm sure any salt would be fine :)

Katrina said...

I need to switch things up from the usual pasta salad more and this looks really good!

Pam said...

I never cook with barley - this salad looks so delicious.

Chow and Chatter said...

thats very interesting looks very healthy and high in fiber

carma said...

I have not had barley in years! gotta start eating healthier :D

Kevin said...

Looks good! I like using whole grains in salads like this.

Cheryl said...

That looks freaking amazing, I was browsing looking for some healthy stuff, I am going to make this for sure!