A Friend of the Mediterranean
My parents taught me to be kind-hearted, loyal, open, trustworthy, honest, real… blah blah blah!
What they should have told me is that sharing beloved recipes would endear me to family and friends instantly! Come on…you know it’s true! I served this recipe over the New Year and my inbox has been stuffed with requests for it ever since.
This recipe has been in my family so long that I’m not even sure where it came from, but I vividly recall my mother tweezing it from a recipe box stuffed like a Build-A-Bear with a variety of paper that would rival any paper mill’s inventory! I’m sure it’s changed from the original, but it’s every bit as yummy (please forgive the out-of-season use of basil)!
In an effort to give credit where it is due, I’d like to thank Delicious magazine, or was it Cooking Light or maybe Vegetarian Times…sometime in the early 90s? My apologies to the author (if you’re out there reading, please chime in). For those interested in making this gluten-free, substitute Job’s Tear’s or sweet brown rice and enjoy!
MEDITERRANEAN BARLEY SALAD
1-1/2 cups uncooked whole barley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup dry, sun-dried tomatoes (30 halves)
1/2 cup dried apricots (18)
1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup raw shelled pistachios
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons drained capers
24 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. chopped scallions
2 Tbs. flat-leaf parsley
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Soak barley overnight. Drain and place in large pot with 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Bringing water to a boil, add barley, reduce to a simmer and cook covered until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly before tossing.
In small mixing bowl, cover dried tomatoes and apricots with hot water and soak approximately 15 minutes to reconstitute. Drain soaking water and chop coarsely. Fluff barley and add chopped tomatoes and apricots, plus prepared fennel, pistachios, basil, capers and olives.
In small mixing bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over salad, toss to coat and serve room temperature.
I like to serve this over greens, with a side green salad (perhaps some arugula, spinach or a raw kale salad) or simply on its own. However you choose, I hope you enjoy it in good health!
Eat clean live well!