Barley has a chewy texture and a nutty flavor, similar to brown rice. Basically, you can use barley the same way you use rice. It can be used in stir-fries and pilafs. Next time you want to make a rice dish, try using barley instead.
There three types of barley:
- Dehulled or Hulless - The hull has been removed, but the bran remains. It requires the longest amount of time to cook.
- Pearled - The hull and the bran have been removed.
- Quick Cooking - This type has been rolled flat and requires about 10 minutes to cook.
Barley, Feta, and Pear Salad
Serves 2 as main dish or 4 as a side dish.
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup pearl barley
½ cup packed flat-leafed parsley
1 celery rib
½ small head radicchio
1 pear, unpeeled
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Toast the walnuts until golden, about 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and barley. Stir. Partially cover and cook until barley is tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Chop parsley and celery. Slice radicchio into thin strips. Core and chop the pear. Combine all ingredients, along with the walnuts in a large bowl. Drain barley and allow to cool. Add barley and the feta cheese to the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add lemon juice and olive oil. Stir to combine.
If desired, red wine vinegar can be used instead of the lemon juice.