Pearl Barley. You may or may not have heard of it but for those who haven’t, it is another grain that is good to have in your cooking repertoire. To me, the barley tasted like a combination of rice and quinoa. I was wandering around a local Asian supermarket when I saw it and thought that it would be a good idea to try it out. I have a bit of a salad obsession just because it is so simple to make and super good for you! And in this day and age, everyone is all about getting things done quickly and so I’m hoping to convey the message that healthy food can be quick and easy too so that you don’t have to reach for packed goods such as chips and biscuits. The salad I’ve created today makes the pearl barley the hero. As it was the first time I had used it, I really wanted it to be noticed in every spoon full so I was careful with the other flavours I incorporated for this exact reason. Here’s what I came up with!
Pearl Barley Salad
What you’re going to need
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 cup water
1 baby cucumber, grated
1/2 carrot, grated
4 cherry tomatoes, sliced
small handful almonds
small handful dried cranberries (These are new to my pantry too. They give a great element of sweetness and also some texture too. If you don’t like cranberries or don’t have any on hand, you can use another dried fruit such as sultanas or dates)
To prepare the barley
1. Pour the barley into a strainer and rinse thoroughly with cold water for 2 minutes (barley is quite starchy)
2. Bring to the boil the barley and water. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer. Cover and cook until barley is al dente. (I cooked mine for about 15 minutes)
3. Drain well and then mix through the carrot, cucumber, tomato and cranberries. Serve on a bed of rocket and top with almonds.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week!
I found that this recipe did not require additional dressing or seasoning but that was my personal preference. The barley is quite moist when cooked so don’t worry about the salad being dry!