Recipe Corner: Almond Joy

by Lorna Sass

Most of us think of barley as a winter grain, but it’s worth re-thinking this assumption.

When writing Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen in the early '90s, I developed a recipe for a barley salad that has remained a favorite, and I often find myself making it during the summer.

Although you can make the salad with any whole grain, there's something about barley's particular silken chewiness that makes it a particularly appealing choice.

And you needn't stop at the readily available pearl barley—which has been processed to rub off some of the health-promoting bran layer. There are various whole grain barleys now available called "naked" or "hull-less" barleys because their inedible hulls fall off during processing, obviating the need for any pearling. Varieties of hull-less barley include Bronze Nugget, Golden Waxy, and the gorgeous, purplish hued black barley.

As with any whole grain, store uncooked barley in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent the oil-rich germ from turning rancid. Cooked barley also freezes well, so make extra and store it for a second salad down the road.

Lorna Sass is a widely published food writer and an award-winning cookbook author. Her Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way cookbook won the 2007 James Beard Foundation award for the best cookbook in the Healthy Focus category. Visit her listing on our website.

Barley Salad with Carrots, and Dill

Serves 6

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups cooked barley
  • 3/4 pound (5 medium) carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed, minced fresh dill
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup fruity olive oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

In a large serving bowl or storage container, combine the barley, carrots, dill, sunflower seeds, and currants.

Dribble on the olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste. Toss until the ingredients are thoroughly coated with the dressing.

Recipe copyright, Lorna Sass, 2008

Back to the May 2008 Newsletter