I’ve had this recipe sitting in my recipe binder for a few years now. I finally decided to make it tonight. I can see why I picked this recipe to save but I’m surprised I hadn’t made it sooner. I guess before I was doing all my shopping at Whole Foods, I knew I wouldn’t be able to find barley. Great thing about Whole Foods are their bulk bins — barley galore! This was a perfect meal to make because I had fresh spinach on hand from my CSA bag and spinach is in the dressing. I really liked the dressing that’s in this salad and will make it again to dress a green garden salad. I’m also a huge fan of greek flavors so it seemed like a perfect summer meal. Only problem is…where is my summer weather?! I’m dying to eat more salads and barbeque but it’s just not in the cards yet. Oh well, I’ll have this one in the back of mind for a hot summer night come August.
Greek Barley Salad with Feta
Adapted from Cooking Pleasure August/September 2008
by Robin Asbell The New Whole Grains Cookbook
14 oz vegetable or chicken broth (2.5 cups if using hulled barley)
1 c pearl or hulled barley
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 c tightly packed spinach
1 T chopped fresh oregano or 1 t dried
1 T lemon juice
1 t grated lemon peel
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
I also added in half of a small red onion diced, as well as 1 grated carrot.
1. Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add barley; return to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium to medium-low, simmer 30 minutes (pearl barley) or 40 minutes (hulled barley) or until all brother is absorbed. Place in a medium bow; refrigerate until chilled.
2. With a food processor running, add garlic; process until finely chopped. Add spinach and oregano; process until well-chopped. Add lemon juice, lemon peel, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; process to combine. With processor running, pour in oil. Scrape down sides of bowl; process until very smooth. Stir into barley. (Salad can be made to this point 2 hours ahead. Cover & refrigerate.)
3. Combine cucumber, tomato, and bell pepper (also red onion and carrot, if using) with barley mixture. Stir in half of the cheese; sprinkle with remaining cheese.