Kelly’s Herby Barley Salad

Recipe & Images: Alison’s Pantry 

Serves 4 as a main and 6 as a side dish

Everyone needs a salad like this in their repertoire. This hardworking dish is great for dinner, lovely as a packed lunch and if stored properly in the fridge, will last a couple of days.

The dish is vegan as I’ve written, and I love it just on its own, but it’s also delicious with a little feta or goat cheese crumbled through it, served with marinated tofu or tempeh on top or with some pan-fried fish as part of a shared meal with friends.

Use this recipe as inspiration and add your own favourite ingredients.

2 cups Alison’s Pantry quick cook barley **(can substitute with quinoa)
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup frozen edamame beans (buy then ones already podded)
½ cup Alison’s Pantry natural pistachios, roughly chopped
½ cup Alison’s Pantry unsalted roasted cashews, roughly chopped
½ cup roughly chopped sundried tomatoes
½ cup pitted kalamata olives – roughly chopped
3 stems kale – spine removed and finely chopped

½ cup Alison’s Pantry pine nuts
150ml olive oil
60ml lemon or lime juice
1 small garlic clove – finely chopped
1 packed cup parsley or basil (or a combo of both is nice)
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Place the barley and stock into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook with a lid slightly ajar for 20 minutes. Place the lid on tightly and leave to sit for 10 minutes while the remaining stock is absorbed.

Leave the barley to come to room temperature or chill in the fridge. You can speed this up by spreading on a couple of plates.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over a medium heat until lightly golden.

Add to a small food processor or use a hand blender to blitz together with all the dressing ingredients until fairly smooth. Taste and season well.

Cover the edamame beans in boiling water and leave for 5 minutes. Drain well.

Combine the cooled barley, nuts, edamame beans, sundried tomatoes, olives and kale. Stir well. Drizzle over the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Taste salad and season again if necessary.

It’s important that the barley is properly cooled when mixed with the other ingredients or the dressing will be absorbed into the grain and leave the salad dry.

**To replace the barley with quinoa.
Place 1½ cups of Alison’s Pantry quinoa that has been rinsed well, into a medium saucepan with 3 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, with a lid slightly ajar for 15 minutes, until tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, place the lid on tight and leave to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and then cool as per the recipe.

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