Sunday, February 21, 2016

Barley Greek Salad

That damned skunk and his other urban wilderness friends keep digging up the Pond.  My traumatized lettuces and beets are taking longer to grow than I expected, but the peppers out front ripened right on cue.  So I decided to make a kind of hybrid Greek-style salad with barley as a base instead of lettuce.

All this healthy eating has done a number on my digestion.  I can eat junk and not have a reaction, but fresh food gives me reflux.  That's where the barley comes in.  It's supposed to aid digestion.  I saved the water from cooking and made orange barley water (fresh-squeezed orange juice, simple syrup, and the barley water).  It's the best way I can think of eating well and having a calm stomach at the same time.  Barley is also nice as a salad grain because it doesn't clump up and stick together like rice would. You can fluff it with a fork and serve it cold no problem.

Oh, and the war against critters has intensified.  Since the skunk repellent isn't working well enough, I bought chicken wire for a cover.  I think you need a license or something to get barbed wire.  It has to be the beets.  I have never had a garden torn up this badly until I planted beets.  Now that they're not being dug up every other night, the seedlings are growing nicely.

*1/2 C dry barley
1 cucumber
2 roma tomatoes
1/2 small red onion
1 C drained pickled peppers
2 C olive bar favorites
4 oz crumbled feta
1/4 C lemon juice (one lemon)
2 Tb olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1.  In a medium saucepan, bring barley and 2 C water (3 if you're saving the water) to a boil.  Stir briefly, lower to a simmer, and cover.  Simmer for about 45 minutes, until barley is thoroughly cooked. Drain out any unabsorbed water and refrigerate until ready to use.

2.  To make the dressing, whisk together lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper.  Keep in mind that whatever brine or marinade you have from the olive bar will contribute to the flavor, as will some brine from the peppers.  Refrigerate until assembly time.

3.  Peel, seed, and slice the cucumber into easy-to-eat sizes.  Dice tomatoes.  Slice onion thinly and cut the rings in halves or quarters to make them easy to eat.

4.  To assemble the salad, start with a base of the barley.  Top with raw veggies, peppers, and olives.  Drizzle lemon vinaigrette on top and let it soak past the veggies into the barley.  Top with feta and serve.

Difficulty rating  π

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