One of my favourite salads is one based on boiled pearl barley. I love it because it is filling, fresh and easy to make. I often serve it instead of pasta or potatoes and people generally seem pretty happy with that. More often than not we have fish or a steak on the side but sometimes I serve it with some fried goats cheese on top instead of meat on the side. I do quite a few variations on this salad, but the boiled barley is at the core of each variation.
I always have some greens in the salad, normally baby spinach, (broad-leaved) parsley or a salad mix with bitter greens. I also have some kind of fruit in there, often apples but I have used peach and watermelon as well with great results. I like adding spring onions or radishes as well. I almost always have cucumber and bell peppers as well. I tend to top the salad with nuts, pomegranate, dried fruit, feta cheese or bacon. I either toss the salad (not the topping) with a vinaigrette or serve it with tzatziki or a yogurt dressing on the side.
The key to the salad is that everything is chopped fine and that the there is some kind of dressing for the salad or it can be quite dry and sad.
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Pearl Barley Salad
Beautiful pearl barley salad with pomegranate seeds and a fresh spring vinaigrette of rhubarb. One of my favourite salads is one based on boiled pearl barley. I love it because it is filling, fresh and easy to make. I often serve it instead of pasta or potatoes and people generally seem pretty happy with that.
Boil the pearl barley in twice as much water as you have pearl barley
Boil the pearl barley in the water for about 20 minutes or until they are tender. Check the pack for instructions as the pearl barley might be parboiled.
Chop the greens finely. And chop the fruit and vegetables finely in so everything is about the same size. The chunks should be a bit bigger than the grains.
Let the barley cool in a separate bowl (not the hot pot) while you chop everything and make the vinaigrette.
While waiting for the barley to cool make the vinaigrette.
Chop the rhubarb into chunks and add them to a pot, with a tiny bit of water.
Heat the rhubarb and add sugar and spices to taste. It should just stop being tart - not get sweet.
Drain the rhubarb and save the liquid. It is the liquid we need for this recipe. Make a tart out of the rhubarb.
Mix the wine with the liquid and pour it over the salad.
Serve the salad in a pretty flat dish or a nice bowl. Add the pomegranate seeds over the top.