Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pearl Barley, Mushrooms, Roasted Pepper Salad

I was inspired by a recent article in the LA Times about whole grain salads and tested out one of the recipes since I had most of the ingredients in my fridge already. I couldn't find farro, so I substituted pearl barley instead, and I used some really lovely and inexpensive organic honmeiji mushrooms from Marukai. I really liked this dish, the pearl barley had great chewy texture and dish had lots of bright different flavors from the earthy garlic mushrooms, crunchy toasted walnuts, tangy feta and fresh dill and green onions. I would definitely make it again. We had some of my brother's excellent home brewed beer that he lugged home all the way from Cleveland, including a chocolate maple porter and peanut butter porter which went really well with this dish.
Pearl Barley, Mushroom, Roasted Red Pepper, Feta Salad Recipe adapted from the LA Times
  • Rinse 1 cup of pearl barley. Toast in a pot over medium heat for a couple of minutes, then add 2.5 cups of water and 1/2 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 40 minutes. Pour the barley into a strainer and rinse under cool water
  • While the barley is cooking, chop and toast in a pan 1/2 a cup of walnuts. Chop a handful of dill, mince 1 clove of garlic, cut 1/2 cup of roasted peppers into strips, and slice 3 green onions
  • Heat up some olive oil over medium / medium high heat and saute the mushrooms for 3 minutes, add the garlic and 1/2 tsp of salt, and saute for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly
  • Combine the mushrooms and garlic with the cooked pearl barley, green onions, toasted walnuts and all but 1 TB of chopped dill
  • Add 1.5 tsp of red wine vinegar, salt to taste (but not too much because feta is salty), toss, and then layer the strips of roasted peppers on top, crumble 1/4 cup of light feta and sprinkle on the remainder of the dill
Random, but I finally had some beautiful flowers to put into this planter I bought in Taiwan. Doesn't he look happy? I love dahlias and lisianthis!

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