As the weather begins to cool down, you’ll find yourself opting for more cozy sweaters and more comforting dishes. Barley bridges the gap between summer and fall by pairing body-friendly nutrition with satiating bulk. This barley, spinach, and herb salad recipe is the perfect transition to a new season and will delight your taste buds without compromising your waistline.
Barley was one of the first cultivated grains and has long been a prominent fixture in Tibetan cuisine. It has a nut-like flavor and a chewy, pasta-like consistency. It also boasts an incredible nutritional profile. In 1/3 cup of dry barley, there are 217 calories, 60 percent of the RDA of manganese, 42 percent of the RDA of selenium and fiber, 33-34 percent of the RDA of copper and vitamin B1, and 23 percent of the RDA of chromium and phosphorus. It is also rich in magnesium and vitamin B3. Meanwhile, the grain is quite filling and won’t leave you craving anything else.
There are many ways you can alter this salad recipe to your liking. Add in all kinds of chopped raw veggies that you have hanging around and feel free to experiment with the nuts and herbs listed. Cilantro offers a unique light flavor to the otherwise earthy ingredients, but you can most certainly use other similarly light and festive herbs, such as mint, basil, or parsley. Almonds are also interchangeable with walnuts, pecans, and pine nuts, among others. Enjoy!
Barley Spinach and Herb Salad Recipe
- 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
- 4 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- Handful of cilantro, chopped
- Small handful raw sliced almonds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Cook the barley according to package instructions. When cooked through, drain and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, toss the spinach, tomatoes, corn, cucumber, cilantro, and almonds together. Add the barley and toss again. In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Pour over the barley salad and fold until all of the ingredients are equally coated with the vinaigrette.
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Vegetable Salad image from Shutterstock