Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Barley and Mushroom Salad With English Peas

An old-y but good-y, adapted from the New York Times' always reliable, "Recipes for Health"


1 cup pearl barley
3 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 recipe walnut vinaigrette (recipe below)
6 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, or a mixture of parsley and other herbs (such as chives, dill, tarragon or marjoram)
2 to 4 leaves fresh sage, cut in very thin slivers
1 cup shelled English peas, uncooked or steamed for five minutes (to taste)
1 cup shredded radicchio
1 ounce shaved Parmesan


1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the barley. Stir in the pan until the barley begins to smell toasty, about five minutes. Add the stock (or water) and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 40 minutes, until the barley is tender. If all of the liquid has not been absorbed, drain.
2. While the barley is simmering, make the vinaigrette.
3. Place the mushrooms in a salad bowl, and toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing.
4. When the barley is ready, add to the salad bowl and toss with the mushrooms and remaining dressing. Add the herbs, peas and radicchio. Serve warm or room temperature, garnishing each serving with shaved Parmesan.

Yield: Serves four to six

Advance preparation: You can make this up to a day ahead, but only add half the mushrooms. Don’t add the peas, herbs or radicchio; toss these ingredients with the salad shortly before serving.

For the walnut vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar
Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, finely minced or pureed
1/4 cup walnut oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, salt, mustard and garlic. Whisk in the oils, taste and adjust seasonings.

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