Sunday, August 21, 2016

Simple and Delicious Barley Corn Salad

I'm honestly not really sure whether this Barley Corn Salad recipe is brought to you by my unceasing love of grain salads or my magical pantry which I swear to you continues to refill itself with odd grains just as quickly as I can use them.  Whichever it might be, I'm quite pleased that I get to share it with you!
So first of all, much like the Barley Lime Fiesta Salad I shared with you last summer, I didn't use any barley whatsoever in this.  Sorry for the misnomer.   While I didn't have any barley on hand I did have sorghum.   Sorghum just happens to be a delicious substitute for barley, so I was in luck.  :-)

Sorghum is a whole grain that tastes mild and a little earthy.  While they taste nothing alike, it looks a lot like Israeli couscous.  It's delicious in soups and salads and it's right up my "I like to cook weird stuff" alley.  Apparently you can even pop it like popcorn (!), though I've yet to give that one a try.  It's one of those things that I don't often think to cook with, but I should cook with often because it's filling yet light and delicious.
You could really sub just about any grain into this salad, to be honest, but the sorghum turned out beautifully in place of the barley.

This is a light and refreshing summer salad that even my meat-and-potatoes loving husband adored.  As we were eating he said, "We should really eat like this more often!"...well what do you know, the man who complains about my "froufrou" foods is starting to enjoy them.  Of course, I'd also prepared rice and baked beans with that meal just to make sure he had something I knew he would like.  :-)

After cooking and cooling the grain it's mixed with salad greens and corn.  A little lemon zest brightens the whole thing up- I found that drizzling the salad with a balsamic vinaigrette right before serving really pulled everything together super nicely.

I even got to use my beloved OXO Good Grips® Corn Stripper that Allrecipes sent me to try out last year.  Could I use a knife?  Of course- but it's nowhere near as much fun and I love how all of those little corn kernels collect right there in the gadget.

This recipe makes a lot so if you're not feeding a crowd you might want to consider cutting it in half. I was a little worried that the greens wouldn't hold up in leftovers but my worries were unfounded- they held up just fine for the several days it took us to finish off the leftovers!

Yet another perfect warm weather side!

3 C water
1 C barley (or sorghum)
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 C fresh corn kernels (about 3 cobs)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 scallions, sliced
2 cups mixed greens
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp lemon zest
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

1. Bring water and barley to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until barley is tender, about 30 minutes.

2. Drain any excess water from barley and transfer to a large bowl; stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil.

3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add corn; cook and stir until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and scallions; cook until scallions are wilted, about 2 minutes.

4. Mix corn mixture into barley in the bowl. Stir in mixed greens, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Season salad with salt and pepper.

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