Last winter I went through a kind of barley craze. I made a fantastic Barley Mushroom Soup and also a Barley Mushroom Bake. (Sounds like a mushroom craze as well.) As a result, I have two boxes of unused barley sitting in my pantry.
I take much pride in the fact that I often create great meals using only pantry ingredients. In fact, a game I play with myself is to see how long I can go without grocery shopping – you know, clean out the freezer and the pantry and use every last veggie in the fridge. So when I was faced with using some of the barley, I stood up to the challenge.
Of course, living in the age of the internet and with the plethora of excellent food blogs, it’s not much of a challenge to find a decent recipe these days. This one comes from someone on allrecipes.com and I tweaked it to my taste by adding pine nuts and almonds – both from my pantry and screaming to be used up!
This salad is excellent! Surprisingly good! The dressing would be killer on pasta or even a garden salad for that matter. I wish I had had feta cheese - it would have been the perfect addition!
Here’s what you need:
1 C barley (I used the quick cooking type)
7 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
2 cloves garlic
2 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
½ C chopped cilantro
1 x 4 oz can chopped black olives
Feta, if you have it!
Here’s what you do:
Prepare the barley according to the package. Allow to cool.
Make the dressing by blending the tomatoes, garlic, oil, and vinegar until smooth. Spoon over barley. Add the olives, cilantro, nuts and feta, if you have it! Mix well. Drizzle with more olive oil before serving.