Thursday, February 11, 2010

Barley & Bean Salad

{print this recipe}

This is such a gorgeous salad! It reminds me of confetti... Easy to prepare, great for making ahead, and it's so healthy! You can substitute half or all the barley for wild, brown or white rice if you prefer (but I highly recommend sticking with the barley...). It can be a main dish on its own or a great side salad.

Barley is a high-fiber, high-protein grain. A great substitute for rice (even my picky toddler devoured it when I told him it was "big rice"!). I buy it from the bulk section at Whole Foods. You may notice there are two varieties of barley: hulled barley and pearl barley. Hulled barely is unprocessed with only the outer hull removed, and it takes longer to cook. Pearl barley is 'polished' with more layers [and nutrients] removed.

source: adapted from
serves: 6-8 servings

1 cup pearl barley
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels, cooked according to package
1/2 cup green onions, cut into half-inch slices (about half a bunch)
1 red bell pepper, diced

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2/3 cup olive oil

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups water to boil. Stir in barley and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 30-40 minutes or until tender. If using a rice cooker, increase water to 2 1/2 cups. Allow barley to cool. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooled barley, black beans, kidney beans, corn, green onions and bell pepper. Mix well. 
  3. Combine remaining ingredients, whisking in olive oil. Pour over salad and toss well.* 
  4. Serve at room temperature or chill in fridge for several hours.** 

* I only used about 2/3 of the dressing.
** If serving chilled, reserve some of the dressing to pour over salad just before serving.

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