Minted Barley and Beans Salad is an all time favorite dish as it is appetizing as well as nutritious. This mouth-watering salad is pleasant toting up to any type of casual dinner or lunch. The syrupy zest and chewy feel of pearl barley along with the rich tomato-mint dressing make it a really refreshing salad to taste.
Preparation Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Serving Size: 04
Utensils Needed: sauce pan, serving bowl, mixing bowl, knife, stove, refrigerator, cutting board
- 1.4 liters (2½ pints) vegetable stock
- Strip of lemon zest
- 1 bay leaf
- 225 g (8 oz) baby leeks
- 1 teaspoon sunflower oil
- 225 g (8 oz) pearl barley
- 1 can black-eyed beans (about 410 g) - drained and rinsed
- 6 firm and ripe plum tomatoes (about 500 g) - cut into thin wedges
- 140 g (5 oz) baby spinach leaves - shredded
- 1 bunch spring onions ( about 85 g) - halved and shredded
- Sprig of fresh mint for garnishing – optional
- 2 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil - drained and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil
- Salt and pepper
Pour some water into the saucepan and set it on your stove over medium heat. Add in 2½ pints of vegetable stock, bay leaf and a lemon zest once the water starts boiling. Increase the heat and bring the water to speedy boil. Reduce the heat to medium level and add in 225g of baby leeks. Cook for approximately 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Remove the saucepan from stove and strain the ingredients. Now, rinse in cold water for a short time. Place them on a cutting board; use a sharp knife to cut the diagonal into one inch lengths and set aside for a few minutes until you mix other ingredients.
Pour one tablespoon of sunflower oil to the stock in the saucepan and bring it back to boil over medium heat. Add in the stock mixture in it. Pour in one tablespoon of sunflower oil and wait for a few minutes until it starts boiling. Add in 225 g of pearl barley, place the lid of the saucepan on the top and cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until soft.
Turn off the heat of the stove and spoon out at least two tablespoon of the stock and put it back. Now, drain the barley mixture and throw away the lemon zest. Tint the barley leaf into a serving bowl and let it cool properly.
Place the mixture in a large mixing bowl and add in 1 can of black-eyed beans, wedges of 6 firm and ripe plum tomatoes and 140g of the shredded baby spinach leaves. Mix the ingredients with a large spoon and spring 85g of halved and shredded onions to the barley and toss gently to coat properly.
It is the time to make the dressing of the salad. For this purpose, take a screw top jar and place 2 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil and 1 tablespoon oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Top the ingredients with 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint and 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh chervil. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper at the top for taste. Cove the lid of the jar thoroughly and shake it for 10 to 15 seconds until all the ingredients incorporate into one another thoroughly.
Remove the lid of the jar and drizzle the thick and rich tomato-mint dressing over the vegetable-barley mixture in the large serving bowl and toss gently to coat all the ingredients.
Your Minted Barley and Beans Salad is ready; garnish it with a fresh sprig of mint. Cover the salad with a plastic wrapping sheet and place it in the refrigerator until slightly chill.
Remove from refrigerator and serve with four small or medium salad bowls. Enjoy the amazing taste.