For years -- well, for decades -- I cooked barley only one way: in soup, with mushrooms and carrots and rich beef or chicken stock. So I missed out on decades of amazing warm and cold barley salads, and now I'm making up for lost time. Or for lost tastes. This barley, artichoke, sun-dried tomato and feta salad came together after a quick pantry raid and a short hop to the herb garden for some of the curly parsley I'm growing this year for the first time. The strong, salty flavors of the artichokes, tomato and cheese, plus the lemony flavor of a zahtar-based dressing, provide just the right counterpoint to the creamy barley. For a vegan salad, omit the cheese, and add some kalamata olives.
Barley, artichoke, sun-dried tomato and feta salad with zahtar dressing
For the salad:
1 cup pearl barley, cooked according to package directions
1 cup chopped artichoke hearts (I like to use marinated ones here)
3 oz sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (curley or flat-leaf)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (I use fat-free feta)
For the dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp zahtar
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 fresh black pepper
Combine all salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Shake the jar vigorously to emulsify (thicken) the dressing.
Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss well. Let the salad sit for 10 minutes, and toss again.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.
More great grainy salads:
Farro and kale salad with white beans and slow-roasted tomato, from The Perfect Pantry
Mediterranean eggplant and barley salad, from Smitten Kitchen
Lentil and barley Greek-style salad with tomatoes, feta, and capers, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Barley and spinach Fall salad with maple syrup vinaigrette, from e-Curry
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