Saturday, July 18, 2009
Greek Barley Salad
I am trying a bunch of different kinds of whole grains and other healthy stuff. Sometimes I find things I want to try before I find any recipes to try them with. When I bought my quinoa at Whole Foods I saw the barley near it on the shelf, and it really appealed to me because of its size. Barley is one of the largest grains, which is one reason farmers in the Fertile Crescent thousands of years ago decided to plant it to become farmers. (It's a lot more complicated than that, so if you are interested you should check out this book I am reading right now - Guns, Germs and Steel.) So I bought the barley and looked for a recipe to make with it. I came across a recipe for Greek Barley Salad. I like Greek food, so this looked good to me. I decided I would make it down the shore this weekend.
The barley I got is pearled barley, which means that the hard outer shell has been removed. If you want to be really picky about it, this means that it's no longer a "whole" grain. But that doesn't mean it's not good for you! Barley takes a LONG time to cook, so I got it going and had my mom watch it while I got ready. Of course, it wasn't done when I came back. I mixed the dressing and cut the pepper, tomatoes, onions and parsley.
When the barley finished cooking but was still hot, I mixed the dressing in, then after it cooled to room temperature I mixed the rest of the ingredients in. I didn't measure the feta, I just used a full 5 ounce container. My mom, my sister and myself tried it after it was mixed together and they liked it. My sister thought it should be served cold, and my mom thought it should be served warm. I liked it room temperature, but we will have to see what happens when we try it again later (it's now in the fridge). This is a good recipe to try for someone who has never cooked barley before, and if you leave out the feta it is instantly vegan!