Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Corn and Barley Salad

When I found this recipe in a new-to-me cookbook I got for the grand price of $0.58, I knew it was just the kind of dish that would make M.'s eyes light up. Sure enough, he walked in the door last night just as I was finishing it up and instantly grabbed a spoon to sample on the spot. So I knew I had a winner, and that was definitely confirmed when I sampled a real portion for lunch today.

This salad was easy, quick to throw together and just so wholesome. Barley, corn, parsley, a hint of flavor from the chopped chile, chunks of tomato - what's not to like? The dressing mixed up easily, and seemed to be quite forgiving. I used some basalmic vinegar in addition to red wine vinegar as I didn't have white wine vinegar to no ill effect. And, as I added the dressing to the salad, I thought there was no way this little bit of dressing would dress the whole salad. But it did. It is a lightly dressed salad, definitely not drenched but the touches of vinegar add a refreshing quality to the overall taste of the dish.

Corn and Barley Salad
Jane Brody's Good Food Gourmet
4-6 side salad servings (I think we'll get 4 - 6 main course salad servings out of this generous recipe!)

Jane's notes - All tasters agreed that this easily prepared salad was a winner. It's a nice salad to make when you have some leftover ears of cooked corn.

Jane's preparation tips - Cooking the garlic takes the bitter edge off of it, but you can skip this step if you wish. You can make the salad 1 day ahead, adding the cilantro or parsley just before serving time.

My notes - I cooked the garlic in a glass bowl covered with water for 2 minutes in the microwave and that worked pretty well. I used parsley, not cilantro. I didn't measure the corn, but used three and a half ears. I used one chili, didn't seed and might use two when repeating the salad as the heat was lost in the bulk of the salad (and we like things flavorful, but not too spicy). I also used red wine vinegar and basalmic vinegar, and was pleased with the results. And I just tossed the parsley into the salad - no waiting one hour before serving here! I will definitely will be repeating this salad!

3 cups of water
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1 cup barley
2 cups cooked corn kernels, fresh if available or frozen and thawed
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 large tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1 - 2 fresh hot green chilies or jalepenos, seeded and minced

1/4 cup minced cilantro or fresh parsley, or to taste

2 cloves garlic, cooked ten minutes in boiling water and peeled
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1. To prepare the salad, in a large saucepan bring the water and salt (if desired) to a boil. Add barley and cook stirring often for 30 minutes (pearled barley)/40 minutes (unpearled barley). Do not overcook the barley. Drain barley in a colander, rinse under cold water and let drain until cool.
2. Transfer the cooled barley to a large bowl. Add the corn, scallions, tomato, chilies or jalepenos, and toss ingredients well.
3. To make dressing, put dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and process. Pour dressing over salad, and toss well to combine ingredients thoroughly. Cover bowl, and chill the salad.
4. One hour before serving, stir in cilantro or parsley, and allow salad to come to room temperature.

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Tanna said...

Yes, well, I paid more for my copy but her recipes are good. You've reminded me of this one and I must make it again. Very good.

Melody said...

That salad looks delicious... mmmmm.. fresh corn is so wonderful.

Maureen said...

Hey, I recognize that eggplant bowl/dish from Williams Sonoma. I have the same ones (set of 4- with different veggies.) Anyway, the salad looks yummy and I already passed it on to my mom, who is lucky enough to have fresh corn and tomatoes in her garden.

helios said...

Tanna - glad I could help you rediscover a cookbook. I saw several things I liked - I'll be trying more in the future.

Melody - welcome! Thanks for thinking the salad looks good. I thought so myself. :)

Maureen - welcome. Yep, you caught me. It is from the WS set of four - but they're so perfect for presentation! And I figure at least I'm using them more now....