Brussels Sprouts & Barley Salad

Since I have become such a big fan of Brussels sprouts, I almost always have some on hand, which means I am always on the lookout for fun and creative new recipes for them.  I also like barley a lot too.   I was searching for some kind of creative side dish to have with my Greek chicken,  It Looks Greek to Me and voila, I found something intriguing, and then I tweaked it by changing this and adding that, to make it my own, just like I always do.  As I have said many times, the Mediterranean diet is my favorite style of food.  Grains play a very prominent role in the Mediterranean diet, as they are a great source of protein.  I love all kinds of grains, from breads to rice to barley and cous cous, and on and on.  The recipe I found called for farro and Brussels sprouts.  I could not find any farro, but I did have barley, which is similar, and thus, a new summer salad was created.  This Brussels sprout and barley salad is also very healthy as well tasty.  I love cooking like this.  I get inspired by the darnedest things.  I never know how or when my muse will step in with new creative ideas, but I’ve learned to just go with the flow and accept it when she shows up.  I don’t question her; I just follow her lead and go where she takes me.  I am just as adventurous with experimenting with different foods as I am with life in general.  My motto – “Bring it on!”

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Brussels Sprouts and Barley Salad

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The Barley

1 1/2 cups barley

3 cups water

a dash of salt

1 TBSP olive oil

 

Cook the barley just like you would rice.   Put everything together into a saucepan, bring it to a full, rapid boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the barley is soft and plump.

 

1 lb Brussels sprouts, shredded

1/2 red onion, small dice

5 bacon strips, cooked then sliced or cut

1 TBSP garlic

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

salt & pepper to taste

3-4 TBSP olive oil

2-3 TBSP balsamic vinegar

I TBSP of fresh basil, chiffonade

1 TBSP lemon verbena, chiffonade, optional

2-3 TBSP Parmigiano cheese

 

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Combine the Brussels sprouts, garlic, onions, and salt & pepper and then saute in a hot skillet with olive oil for about 5-7 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts and onions are soft.  Once everything is cooked, add all the cooked ingredients, as well as all the rest of the ingredients, except the Parmigaino cheese, to the barley and toss everything together to thoroughly combine everything.  Top the salad with the cheese right before serving. This healthy and versatile salad can be eaten warm, at room temperature or even cold if you like that way.  Both the barley and the walnuts give this salad a very nutty taste.

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Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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