This salad reminds me of summer so posting it on this cold day seems appropriate. Barley is high in fiber and is a grain that helps lower cholesterol. It is fantastic for adding into soups and in this case, makes a wonderful and nutritious salad. To make this salad for a busy weekday, I bought pre-cut vegetables, crumbled cheese, cooked cannellini beans, and sunflower seeds from the grocery store salad bar. I was able to put the salad together in no time. This recipe is proof that eating healthy can be quick and taste amazing.
Mediterranean Barley Salad
1 cup uncooked barley
2 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
1/2 cup cucumbers, quartered
1/2 cup red onion, cut into rings
1/2 cup cannellini beans, cooked
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
zest of one lemon
juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
Directions: In a large saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil. Add in the barley. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the barley sit for ten more minutes with the lid on. In a large bowl combine barley, tomatoes, feta, cucumbers, red onion, beans and seeds. In a separate bowl squeeze the juice of half a lemon and the lemon zest. Slowly whisk in the oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over the salad and mix well. Finally, add the chopped parsley. Serve right away or allow to sit in the refrigerator until ready to eat.