Saturday, March 30, 2013

Barley-Asparagus-Sweet Pepper Salad

Opening my pantry yesterday and saw half a bag of dried pearl barley, I took it out and cooked them right away without any plan. The dried pearl barley had doubled their size after cooking. And now I had 2 cups of cooked barley that I still had no idea what to do with them. So I was snacking on them while thinking if I wanted to make soup or else.

But let me tell you, the earthy taste of the barley was so awesome and I just couldn’t stop snacking on them. Clearly, I was hungry! So, I decided to use half of cooked barley which was one cup to make a quick salad with some blanched asparagus, mini sweet peppers and the quick lemon vinaigrette with a little kick of dried chili flakes.

Oh my! I was glad I did. The salad was so filling, refreshingly tasty and delicious. It was perfect for a light lunch before my dinner time.  It's best serving as a side salad, and perfect for those who are vegetarians as well.  

And for the healthy part of this dish is one word – lots. You do the math.

1 cup cooked pearl barley
1 cup blanched asparagus, cut into small size, whichever you like
3 small sweet pepper – red, orange, and yellow, thinly sliced

The dressing:
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice + zest (I used 1 small Myer lemon)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dry chili flakes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

- combine cooked barley, blanched asparagus, and sweet pepper in a bowl and set aside.
- whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the prepared salad, stir to mix well, and serve.


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