A delightful lunch salad packed with protein, iron, and lots of other nutrients. This recipe comes from Mark Bittman’s VB6 cookbook, which is such a fun read. This is the first recipe we’ve tried from that collection, but there are tons more that I’ve marked as “to-make.” This was not a slam-dunk recipe, but it was good enough to tell ya’ll about, and it was solid enough to make me go back to this cookbook to try some other recipes.
A few notes:
- I used pearled barley because it was more difficult to find hulled barley than I had anticipated. Next time, I will try Whole Foods because Bittman strongly recommends using the whole barley groat. I checked the nutrition data, and there’s a huge difference. That extra processing removes an unbelievable amount of fiber, iron, protein, and magnesium. Find hulled barley.
- This version has more garlic than the original.
- I also say “fresh herb(s) of choice” instead of Bittman’s suggested parsley or mint for garnish because I thought that the parsley I used overwhelmed the flavors in the dish a bit. Since mint is usually an even stronger flavor than parsley, I wouldn’t use that, either.
- I added the dijon mustard to give the dish a little more flavor.
The dish was pretty good warm, and it was just as tasty the next day, making it an ideal choice for the lunch box. At least for the grown-ups’ lunch boxes. The kids were not enthused by this recipe, though I will make it again to see whether familiarity will eventually lead to love.
- 1 cup barley
- 1½ tsp. salt, divided
- 3 T. olive oil, divided
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 1 small celery stalk, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1½ cups peas
- 1 T. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup fresh herb(s) of choice, chopped, for garnish
- Prepare the barley according to package directions.
- Heat 1 T. of the olive oil and cook the carrots, celery, and onion until the onion starts to go translucent. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Then, add the peas and cook until they are heated through.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, dijon mustard, pepper, and the remaining 2 T. olive oil.
- In a large bowl, toss the barley with the veggies, then add the dressing and toss to coat.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, then garnish with chopped herbs.
Source: The VB6 Cookbook, by Mark Bittman