June 14, 2009

Lemon Herb Barley Salad

This barley salad is very simple, but tastes fresh and vibrant. It's a good side dish for hot summer days, as it's served cold. This recipe makes a lot, so you may want to half the amounts.

You can use any kind of barley, but I used hulled barley because it has a bit more chew than pearled barley, and it's a little healthier too. I cooked my barley in a rice cooker, after soaking it for an hour, with the ratio of one cup barley to two cups water.

-6 cups cooked barley (approx. two cups dried hulled barley)
-1/3 cup sorrel, finely chopped
-1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
-4 T. olive oil
-1/2 t. salt
-juice from 1 lemon

1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Chill for an hour to allow flavors to marry.
3. Serve chilled.

I used sorrel in this recipe, because I have some growing in the garden, but if you can't find any you can leave it out. Since sorrel has a lemony flavor, you may want to add more lemon juice to make up for the loss.

Here is a picture of the pot of sorrel I have growing. Not only does it taste good, but I think it's pretty too!

Black Bean and Corn Salad

While I was out to dinner a week or so ago, I had a wonderful corn and bean salad that I knew I was going to have to try and reproduce at home. This is my approximation of the recipe, which I think came pretty close to the original!

-3 1/2 cups cooked black beans (approx. 2 drained cans)
-1 can corn, drained
-1 roasted red pepper, finely diced
-1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
-zest from 1 lime
-juice from 2 limes
-1/8 to 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1/2 t. salt

1. In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn and roasted red pepper. Mix well.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the red onion, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, oil, and salt until well combined.
3. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and stir to coat evenly.
4. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours to allow the beans to absorb the dressing. Serve chilled or room temperature.