Barley, Grapes, Apples, walnuts Salad with Agave-Lemon Vinaigrette
Barley is a good base for grain salads and you can incorporate seasonal vegetables and a simple dressing to make your own variations. I tend to cook the barley a day in advance, let it sit in the fridge overnight to recompose itself, and use it in a salad the next day. Today I had sweet green grapes, crisp radishes and sweet and tangy apples that joined to make this fruity grain salad for lunch. The chopped walnuts were a lovely addition and the agave-lemon vinaigrette complimented the flavours palette nicely. Sometimes I add cubed cheese at the very end. Don’t make more than you need as I think this salad is best served fresh.
1 1/2 cups pearl barley
2 cups green or red grapes
1 apple, chopped, tossed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 radishes, halved and sliced
2 green onion, chopped
1 Belgian endive, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley or cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Rinse the barley and drain. Place in a 2 quart pot with about 4 cups water and bring to a boil, uncovered. Lower heat and cook at a simmer until the barley is cooked through, 20-30 minutes or so. If the barley is absorbing the water too fast you can add some water. When the barley is cooked through drain it, rinse with cold water and place in a dish to cool. Refrigerate, covered, overnight. When ready to proceed remove barley from fridge. Cut the grapes in half and add to barley. Chop the apple into dice and toss with a little lemons juice to prevent oxidation (browning). Add to barley. Cut the radish in half, then slice each half and add to barley. Chop the green onion and add to barley. Cut the Belgian endive in half lengthwise and then cut into shreds crosswise. Add to barley. Add chopped parsley or cilantro. Add some of the dressing and mix. Add the walnuts, reserving some for garnishing the top of the salad. Serve chilled with good bread.
2 tablespoon agave syrup
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a jar and stir until well blended.