I must confess that I can rarely bring myself to throw away a Food magazine. My husband complains a bit and suggests that I organize my favorite recipes in loose-leaf binders, but I procrastinate. In any event, my procrastination generally results in some wonderful meals and this recipe below is no exception. It is a bit on the heavy side, but one which we enjoy on a coolish spring day.
The photo above comes from Bebe Love Okazu, but this basic recipe comes from the June, 2009 Food and Wine magazine. The crumbled firm tofu in the sherry vinegar dressing adds extra protein. If tofu isn’t your thing, feel free to substitute diced chicken.
Barley Spinach Salad with Barley
- 1 cup pearl barley about 7 1/2 ounces
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms quartered makes about 4 cups
- Freshly ground pepper tellicherry is best
- 2 shallots thinly sliced
- 7 ounces baby spinach 8 cups
- 1/4 cup basil leaves torn
- 3 tablespoons mint chopped
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
- 7 ounces firm tofu drained and crumbled
- In a medium saucepan, combine the barley, chicken stock, thyme and half of the garlic. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the barley is tender, 25 minutes. Discard the thyme. Drain the barley and transfer to a large bowl; cover and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring until lightly browned, 5 minutes. add the shallots and cook, stirring until softened, 3 minutes longer. Scrape the mushrooms into the barley and toss. Add the spinach, basil and mint, but do not stir.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet. Add the remaining garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened. Add the vinegar, lemon juice and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened. 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until heated through. Stir in the tofu and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the sherry vinegar dressing over the salad and toss. Serve warm.
Looking for more great salad recipe ideas. Here are a few of our favorites: