Mediterranean Barley Salad

If barley salad could be classified as decadent then here it is. One could consider this a healthy dish, but with barley, navy beans, pepperoni and olives as the key ingredients it's on the higher end of calories and fat. On the bright side it is very filling and makes a great small meal or small side and is packed with flavors and textures that make you want to shovel it into your mouth as fast as possible. Beware!

This recipe has been adapted from Best-Loved Whole Grain Recipes

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Start with barley in a pot. Quaker makes a nice quick-cook barley that works well. This particular batch will be done in 10 minutes. Perfect.

In the meantime, we have pepperoni!

Add about a dozen slices of pepperoni to some diced roasted red peppers and kalamata olives (I just use black olives because have you seen the price of those things?!)

It's important that you do not deviate from the recipe. We know you love pepperoni...

but using too much will offset the balance of the...screw it.

I love red onion. I use just a little bit in this recipe - in this case this is only about 1/4 of the onion. Too much can be overpowering (seriously, not joking like I was about the pepperoni).

1/4 tsp of dried red pepper flakes. Wife and I miss Tenuta's very much. We don't have a proper Italian deli/grocery where we are now.

and finish this phase with 2 oz crumbled feta.

The barley should be done by now. Drain and rinse to cool. Add a can of navy beans, rinse and drain.

beans and barley into the bowl..

Next we're going to add an entire can of hearts of palm (drained and rinsed). Here's what it looks like for those of you who have never heard of this before. I've only heard of recently because Emeril was working with it on his daytime show a couple years ago.

Hearts of palm out of the can - drained and rinsed (it comes canned in a brine that you just don't need for this recipe).

I'm not quite sure how to describe this. It's soft and fibrous and sort of has a briny flavor. Nothing to really sit and snack on but nothing to be afraid of either. For the salad it adds a nice texture and body.

Slice it up...
As your cutting if you feel any toughness - like you're cutting through thick paper, see if you can find those layers, peel and discard. You won't want to try and chew that. I've only had this problem once...

and palms into the bowl..

season with basil, cider vinegar, a little salt and a little pepper

fold the salad - don't stir it, don't kill it

It's ready to eat now or keep it in the fridge until you're ready for it.

Have fun making and eating this. This is one of Wife's favs and I've gotten nothing but compliments from others as well.

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome chilled, but you get better flavor at room temp after it's just been made.

    The hearts of palm are kind of like celery hearts, which is really the only part of the celery I like. (The outside makes my tongue numb, due to the Eugenol. Seriously. look it up)

    Oh yea, hearts of palm are also called swamp cabbage in case you're from the holler. :)