Who wants to eat salad in the middle of the winter?? Meh. Not me.
Since I find myself suffering from green salad-apathy at this point in the year, I opt for whole grain-based salads that are packed-full of nutrition and are much more satisfying than their, traditional, leafy counterparts.
This salad makes for a wonderful, light, lunch/dinner, or is a great side dish for a main meal.
It offers a really nice balance of flavours: the pear adds some sweetness, the celery adds a nice crunch, and the feta is creamy and salty. The lemon zest is tangy and fresh, the radicchio is slightly bitter, and the walnuts make this salad extra satisfying.
Barley offers a lot more nutrition than, the more commonly used, couscous, and has a lovely chewy texture.
With just a very simple and light dressing, that is by no means overwhelming, the ingredients maintain their integrity, but still find themselves, seamlessly, working together.
Give this guy a shot. Totally delicious.
Barley, Feta & Pear Salad
Adapted from Leslie Beck
2/3 cup pearl barley
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup parsley, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1 small head radicchio, chopped
1 firm (but ripe) pear, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced and zested
salt and pepper
1. Fill a 2-quart saucepan three fourths full and bring to a boil. Add barley and boil, partially covered, until tender, about 30 minutes. Using a strainer, drain the barley.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt & pepper until well combined.
3. Add the cooked barley, walnuts, parsley, celery, radicchio, pear, and feta cheese, and toss carefully to coat with the dressing.
Easy & healthy?: awesome.