Chilled veggie grain salad
A hearty and healthy salad inspired by spring veggies.
Springtime is filled with fresh beautiful produce. It's a colorful celebration! So if you are looking for a hearty salad to celebrate spring with, look no further. This barley-based salad is tasty, bright and very filling. It's perfect for your next picnic.
Many different greens will work with this salad, so just pick up whatever your local farmers market has. Arugula, chopped kale and baby spinach all work well.
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1/2 cup English peas
- 1 bell pepper
- 1/4 cup micro greens
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pearl barley per package instructions. You should end up with more than 3 cups of cooked barley. After cooking, transfer the barley to a large mixing bowl and place in the fridge to chill.
Trim the asparagus and cut it into equal size pieces, about 2-inch pieces. It is asparagus season, so if you stocked up on it, you can keep asparagus fresh for weeks by trimming off the ends, placing it in a mason jar with some water (trimmed end down), and covering it with a plastic bag. It will stay fresh this way for a few weeks in the fridge.
De-stem and seed the bell pepper, dicing it. I used mini bells in the recipe, if you are wondering why there are three different colors.
Next we are going to blanch our veggies. First bring 8 cups of water to a boil; adding some salt is optional. Once the water is boiling, fill a large bowl with 2 cups of ice and the rest water. We will use this ice bath to stop the cooking after blanching.
Place the asparagus in the boiling water and cook it for about 2 minutes. This really depends on the thickness of the asparagus. When the vegetable has turned a bright green and before that color fades, that is when it is done.
Immediately transfer the asparagus to the ice bath to halt cooking.
Do the same for the peas, cooking them for just a minute. You can also do the bell pepper, but it isn't required.
Strain the asparagus, peas and bell pepper (if you blanched them), removing all water.
Add the veggies to the pearl barley along with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Lightly toss and place it back in the fridge for an hour. Toss in the micro greens right before serving.