I love barley. Its smell, its taste, the satisfying texture, the fleshy meaty bite – it’s the best. But I never cook it because I never know what to do with it. Sure you can throw it in soup, but I always felt that’s a bit disrespectful to my friend barley. It can stand up to soup better than any grain around no doubt, but all that liquid doesn’t really let it shine.
I’d begun to wonder if I love barley because it confounds me so. Maybe I’d built it built it up too much? Well I found a promising non-soup barley recipe and rushed off to Fresh & Wild for overpriced ingredients. The time had come to eat my beloved and discover if it was really worth all that pining.
Recipe for Barley, yogurt and dill salad…
Take 1 cup of pearl barley, rinse, cover with a few inches of water and boil for 25-30 minutes, til it’s done. While the barley cooks, cut an English cucumber into bitesize chunks, salt and leave to drain. After 20 minutes or so, rinse the cucumber and let it drain a few more minutes.
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons olive oil, most of the juice of 1 lemon, a good amount of chopped dill, salt and fresh ground pepper.
When the barley is cooked, drain any excess water. Stir it and the cucumber through, and enjoy.
SO good. That I also have an undeveloped passion for dill no doubt increased my enthusiasm, but it was fresh and hearty, a simple and delicious supper. I also added some peas to the mix, but I’ll leave them out next time – they distracted too much from the barley.
It probably ought to be served cold, but I ate it while it was still warm. Next time I’ll even warm up the yogurt a bit, since this surely won’t be the last time I have this this winter.