Food

Barley Salad

Like many of the things that I cook, this dish was partly fortuitous accident (or at least unintended consequence) and partly inspiration. A few years ago I wanted to make some chicken stock, and also had some barley to cook. So, I decided to cook the barley in the same pot as the chicken stock, putting the barley in the top half of a metal steamer to allow the liquid to get to the barley but to keep the barley from the stock. The result was some very tasty barley (an accidental by-product of this cooking method) and some good chicken stock – a win-win situation for me! However, I ended up with more barley than I knew what to do with, and was pondering this problem when I went to the supermarket, where I spied some goat cheese which (this was the flash of inspiration) seemed like it might go nicely with my chicken-stock-flavoured barley. So I bought some and, when I got home, mixed it up with the barley and a few of my favourite other ingredients … and this yummy salad was born. This is a great side dish to use with cold meats and salad, or alongside a BBQ. I particularly like the texture that the barley gives it. I’ve found it is better to make the salad whilst the barley is still warm, as this allows the goat cheese to melt fully into it, and then to let the salad cool, rather than cooling the barley before using it.

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What you’ll need:

250 grams barley, cooked in chicken stock (follow package instructions, but substitute chicken stock for the water) – to use whilst still hot

50 grams dried sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water according to package instructions

75 grams black olives, roughly chopped

75 grams goat cheese, roughly broken up

Oregano and/or thyme (fresh or dried) to taste (if using fresh herbs, chop them before using)

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Lemon juice, to taste

What to do:

Put the barley in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, goat cheese and herbs and mix together thoroughly. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste (add each of these slowly, mix in thoroughly and taste before deciding how much more of each to add) and then put in the fridge to cool until needed. That’s it! It really doesn’t need method photos, but I’ve taken them, so I’ll put them below…

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2 thoughts on “Barley Salad”

  1. Lovely! I “invented” a similar salad with couscous the other night. I put all kinds of chopped veg (celery, onions, carrots, bell peppers)in along with olives and sun dried tomatoes, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and dried herbs. It was basically a “what do we have in the cupboard?” salad. 🙂

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