I am taking a little break from life this week at the Golden Door, just for a couple of days. I am not normally the type of person that indulges in me-time, but I am realizing it’s a very healthy thing to do and I will try to incorporate more down-time in my life. I’ve been so delighted by my visit here that I will probably write a blogpost about it and incorporate a recipe inspired by the amazing food and organic gardens at the Golden Door. More on that coming.
In the meantime, I am finding a few minutes to write a quick blogpost about a divine summer salad which I know you will love. It’s a twist on tabbouleh, which is a Middle Eastern parsley salad with bulgur wheat, tomatoes, mint and a few other wonderful ingredients. I posted a quinoa tabbouleh a few years ago and it is a staple recipe for me. But this one is barley-based and it is just as delicious but maybe a little sweeter due to the addition of fresh, sweet corn. It is truly the perfect summer salad or side dish.
Many people think of barley as a grain in soups, but it is a wonderful base for grain bowls, salads and even as a warm breakfast porridge. Barley has loads of fiber and protein, which allows it to boast a very low glycemic index. It is a terrific grain for diabetics in moderation.
I love the chewy texture of barley and it pairs so well with all the ingredients here. I encourage you to try this salad and then try substituting barley in your favorite pasta or orzo salad for a more nutrient-rich dish. If you can find very fresh sweet corn, don’t bother cooking it. Raw corn is fabulous, juicy and crunchy. This salad is terrific as a vegetarian meal (you can even add feta to it or toasted pine nuts) or as a side with a simple piece of fish, shellfish or grilled chicken. Leftovers stay beautifully for a few days in the fridge.
Obviously you’ll need to make this ASAP since tomatoes and corn are really on their way out. You likely have another 4-6 weeks before they’re gone for good. Trust me, this is a great recipe. If you are going to a potluck on Labor Weekend, offer to bring this!
- 1 cup semi-pearled barley, rinsed (like Arrowhead Mills or Bob's Red Mill)
- Sea salt
- 2 cups fresh* or cooked corn kernels, about 3 ears of corn
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes or diced regular tomatoes
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup unrefined cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley**
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- freshly ground black pepper
- Combine barley and a pinch of salt in a pot and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the barley in a colander. Rinse well under cold running water until cool. Drain well.
- Combine cooled barley and remaining ingredients plus 1 ½ teaspoons salt in a large serving bowl. Toss to mix well. Taste for seasoning.
- Cover and let sit at room temperature for a few hours before serving or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
**The more parsley, the better for you. You can double it if you have the patience to chop it!
Additions: toasted pine nuts, chopped black olives, feta
Subsitutions: cucumber for the corn
Arrowhead Mills and Bob's Red Mill barley will be labeled "pearled" but it's really only semi-pearled.