One of my favourite salads is one based on boiled pearl barley. I love pearl barley salad, 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 it with 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.
The pearl barley salad
I always have some greens in the salad, normally baby spinach, (broad-leaved) parsley or a salad mix with bitter greens. Some kind of fruit is always in the salad, often apples, but I have used peach and watermelon as well with great results. I like adding spring onions or radishes as well. Cucumber and bell peppers are also key ingredients. I tend to top the salad with nuts, pomegranate, dried fruit, feta cheese or bacon. The salad (not the topping) is tossed with a vinaigrette or serve it with feta, tzatziki or another 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.
Check the pictures for different suggestions to variations.
Here is a spring version with a sweet vinaigrette of rhubarb
Pearl Barley Salad
- 100 milliliters Pearl barley
- 200 milliliters Water
- 200 milliliters Water
- 1 package Baby spinach (broad-leaved) parsley or a salad mix with bitter greens
- 1 Apple
- Pomegranate seeds from half a pomegranate.
- 1/2 Cucumber
- 2 Spring Onion
- 2 sticks Rhubarb
- 2 tablespoons White wine
- Sugar to taste
- 1 teaspoon Powder Fort See recipe notes
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.
How to make Powder Fort