Barley Vegetable Salad has a nice chewiness about it.
Did you cook the whole bag of barley like we suggested and make our Mushroom Leek Barley Soup? Now make this delicious Barley Vegetable Salad with the leftover barley in the refrigerator. I always nuke the cold cooked barley just to take the chill off and so that it separates more easily. You don’t want cold big clumps of barley in your salad. You want the surprise of nice chewy morsels amid the greens and vegetables.
As with many of our Cheater Chef recipes, this salad is just a starting point that made good use of the contents of my crisper drawer leftovers. Feel free to change things up and add what you like and have around.
I’ll be making variations of this throughout the year. Right now during the winter months, chilled leftover roasted vegetables like beets, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and carrots will find their way into my barley salads. The toasted nuts do add a specialness and lots of flavor. I put a single layer of nuts in the toaster oven at a medium-low heat, maybe 300 degrees for about 10 minutes. Watch them carefully because the timing will vary according to size. You’ll notice a toasty aroma when done.
FYI–Be sure to use baby greens or spinach. Crispy lettuces like iceberg and romaine just don’t meld with the chewy barley.
- 4 handfuls salad greens like baby greens or baby spinach (iceberg and romaine don't work in this application, too watery and crunchy)
- 1 medium zucchini, very thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup sliced red onion or 4 sliced green onions
- 1/2 cup baby bell pepper rings or chopped bell pepper
- Your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing
- 1 to 2 cups cooked and cooled pearl barley
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Toss the greens, zucchini, onion, bell pepper and barley in a large salad bowl.
Drizzle with your favorite dressing and toss to combine.
Top with walnuts and feta cheese. Makes 8 servings.