Barley is a wonderfully versatile grain with a rich nutty flavor and a nice chewy, pasta-like consistency. According to the Whole Grains Council, “barley is highest in fiber of all the whole grains, with common varieties clocking in at about 17% fiber.” It’s a great addition to hearty soups, but it’s also nice in summer salads and makes a perfect alternative to pasta. This recipe is easy to throw together early in the day and stored in the refrigerator, giving the ingredients and chance to blend and become more flavorful. You can add other favorite summer ingredients like cucumbers, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes.
8 leaves Lettuce (large-sized)
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Pearl Barley
3 cups Water or Vegetable Broth
1 can organic garbanzo beans, rinsed well and drained
1/2 cup chopped raw unsalted cashews
1 cup carrots shredded
½ cup dried currants
½ cup chopped scallions
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt, to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1. Bring the 1 cup barley and 3 cups water or broth to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, covered, until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 40 to 50 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
2. In a large mixing bowl stir together the barley, garbanzo beans, cashews, carrots, currants, scallions, basil, parsley and mint. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper; pour over the barley mixture and toss to coat. Chill for several hours.
3. Arrange lettuce leaves in a chilled salad bowl or platter. Turn barley-salad mixture into the bowl. Garnish with additional fresh parsley and carrot curls, if desired. Makes 8 servings.