Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Recipe: Barley "Tabouli"

As I've mentioned previously, I have fallen in love with barley.  Recently, I decided that I wanted to elevate it above just a side dish in its own right and add some other flavors into the mix.  The great thing about this recipe is that you can use whatever looks fresh or that you have leftover.  The green onion could be switched for thinly sliced red onion.  Tomatoes could be cored and added, as could bell peppers.  In the fall you could use roasted eggplant.  The possibilities are endless.  Food Lion did not have any regular pearl barley, instead they had the Quaker Quick Cooking Barley.  I am happy to report it worked just as well and cooked in a fraction of the time so check it out if the 35 minute cooking time of the regular stuff intimidates you or just plain doesn't fit your schedule.

You will need:
1 cup quick cooking barley
2 cups low/no sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 cucumber, halved, seeded if necessary, and chopped
Chopped pecans, dry toasted, to taste (I used around a fourth to a third cup)
A handful of dried cranberries
3 green onions, chopped
A medium handful of parsley chopped fine
Garlic Powder

In a saucepan bring two cups of chicken stock to a boil.  Add salt (a dash for low sodium, a fourth teaspoon or so for no sodium stock), pepper, garlic powder, and paprika to the stock.  Add the cup of barley and stir.  Follow the directions on the packaging for cooking details but it will be 10-15 minutes at a simmer until the barley is tender.  For traditional barley follow the same instructions but cook 35 minutes.

As the barley cooks prepare the parsley, nuts and vegetables.  When the barley is finished cooking let it sit for about 3 minutes with the lid on and then add your prepped ingredients.  Stir to combine.

Serves around 6 and works well with any grilled meat and plays nice with other veggies/salads as sides.

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