Barley Salad with Cucumber and Yogurt Dressing


It is IHCC Potluck this week, and I wanted to make something light and summery, plus something that I could put together really quick. I saw the recipe for this salad in the book ‘How to Cook everything Vegetarian’ by Mark Bittman, and I decided to give it a quick try. The original recipe called for scallions, but I did’nt have any. So, I substituted fresh chives from my garden. Also used fresh mint from my garden. You can use any herb you like such as dill or parsley or a combination of herbs.

1 cup pearled barley
1 medium cucumber
1/4 cup of finely chopped chives
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1/2 cup freshly chopped mint
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the barley and put it in a saucepan with water to cover by at least 2 inches. Add a large pinch of salt and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender, about 20 minutes from the time the water boils. Drain and spread on a plate to cool.

Meanwhile, cut the cucumber into small, bite-sized chunks. You can choose to scoop out the seeds, sprinkle some salt and wash and drain the cucumber. But, I used a regular cucumber and skipped the part above, as the cucumbers in summer don’t have big seeds and tend to be  less bitter. Taste your cucumber to help make your decision. Or else you could just use an English cucumber with skin on.

Toss together the barley, cucumber and chives in a salad bowl; sprinkle with pepper. Whisk together the lemon juice, oil, and yoghurt. Toss this dressing with the cucumber mixture, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the mint and toss all together. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Verdict: I loved the minty yogurt dressing and the crunch of the cool cucumber. Perfect summer salad. Also, this doesn’t weigh you down. Just 1/4 of the amount I made, made a filling lunch for me. I tossed some of the leftovers with a half cup of halved green seedless grapes. Loved it!

Also, sending this to ‘Cooking with Whole Foods – barley’ event started by Kiran of Sumadhura.

I am also sending this to the ‘Side Dish Showdown’ .

Side Dish Showdown Blogger Event

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