I love making large salads especially in the summer, one dish wonders that can be put together in the morning before the heat of the day when it's just too hot to cook. With a mix of veggies, proteins and carbs they can be a light meal or really complement a grilled chicken breast of lovely piece of fish. I begin making this recipe as soon as we are harvesting asparagus, (for that variation, click here) when the asparagus season is over I switch to fresh cucumbers and tomatoes. This same salad will take yet another incarnation when the string beans come on, it's just a really versatile recipe. If you try it, please let me know what you think, especially if you create yet another version with a new twist.
Barley & Bulgar Wheat Salad
1 c. barley
2 c. water
¼ t salt
1 c. bulgar wheat
2 c. water
1/4 t salt
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. frozen edamame
1 c. celery, sliced and diced
¼ - ½ c EVOO
1 large lemon
¼ t salt, pepper
3 TB Italian parsley, washed & minced
several chive stems, washed & minced
1 t fresh thyme, washed & minced
several mint leaves, washed & minced
5-10 mini cucumbers, peeled and sliced
2 large tomatoes, diced
3 TB raw pumpkin seeds
Put the pumpkin seeds in a small dry sauté pan over med. high heat. Toast the seeds until they begin to pop. Remove the pan from the heat and let the seeds cool. Set aside.
Place barley, 2 c. water and ¼ t salt in a medium saucepan over med. high heat and bring to the boil. As soon as the barley comes to the boil reduce the heat and set a timer for 10 min. Watch the barley, checking for doneness and that it does not boil dry. It will take anywhere from 10 to 20 min., depending upon how firm you want it. I like it “al dente”, not mushy, but chewy with a little bite to it. As soon as the barley is done, drain off any remaining water and put it in a large bowl to cool down. Stir in 1-2 TB of EVOO, just enough to make the barley glossy. Season it with salt and pepper to taste then cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
Place bulgar wheat, 2 c. water and 1/4 t salt in a medium saucepan over med. high heat and bring to the boil. As soon as the wheat comes to the boil reduce the heat, and set the timer for 5 min. Cover the saucepan and remove it from the heat. In ten minutes check the wheat, it should be cooked through, but not mushy. Fluff it with a fork and drain any remaining water. Move the wheat to a large bowl to cool and add 1-2 TB of EVOO. Check it for seasoning, you may need to add salt and pepper. Refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
Once the barley and wheat has cooled prepare your veggies. To prepare the frozen peas place them into a small microwavable bowl, cover with cold water and a pinch of salt and microwave for 1 ½ - 2 minutes, until they are unfrozen but still cold. Drain and add to the barley mixture.
You can also prepare the edamame in the microwave. Put the edamame in a small bowl, cover with water and salt and microwave on high for 4 minutes, drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Add the edamame to the barley mixture.
Zest the entire lemon, add half of the zest to a small mixing bowl and reserve the other half in another small bowl. Squeeze the juice into the small mixing bowl, you want ¼ c. Add ¼ t salt, garlic powder and stir into the lemon juice to incorporate it. Add just enough EVOO to create an emulsion. (Adding an equal amount of the EVOO while whisking the juice mixture will emulsify the dressing.)
Stir the dressing into the barley mixture, mixing to incorporate the dressing. Add the parsley, mint and thyme and season to taste. If your salad is dry add more EVOO and if you like it zestier you can add the remaining lemon zest. Add the tomatoes. Garnish with the chives and sprinkle the toasted pumpkin seeds over the top. Serve at room temperature or chill for a couple of hours before serving.
Yogi, instructor, seeker