I am one of those people that hangs out for far to long in the grocery store, mostly in the bulk section, looking al all the types of rice, and grains, and beans, and seeds, admiring the variety and colors and also wishing I was one of those people that had an extra $25 to drop on a pound of pistachios. (Them were some pricey pistachios fo sho.) I take my time, peruse the bins, maybe take a little taste or two, and go for what I need. And maybe if something is on sale, get a little of that too. Things that usually make the list are spices, oats, beans, maybe rice or quinoa, flours, and seeds. Pumpkin seeds were on sale so those were the seeds of choice and I also got some barely because when I was starting at all the grains, it dawned on me that I don't know many people that eat barley, or even care about it, which is a shame because it is awesome. It might not be trendy like farro or freekeh, but it is just as good, and damn if it is not a hell of a lot cheaper.
With the barley and pumpkins seed in hand, I had the start of a salad. So I grabbed some oats, a few spices, some beans and ran away from the builk section, past the nuts before things got bad and I either a) got kicked out for eating my weight in cashews and almonds, pretending to just need a taste, or b) paid the $25 for a pound of pistachios that I might not eat because I would need to save them for something really special because they cost $25 a pound. Then I grabbed veggies, walked around the wellness section for good measure, did another lap around the store just in case I forgot something, then finally made my way out of the store only to realize when I got home that I forgot something. (I always forget something)
But I had all I needed for a barley salad situation so things went well. This is a fantastic salad. It's quick and easy and tasty and good. Barley, tahini, veggies and pumpkin seeds... It's all you need for a just right dinner, or a fantastic side to any meal. Or as a snack at anytime. Bring it to a BBQ, a graduation party, or a pot luck. it will get eaten, and if by chance you end up with a little left over, bring it on home and eat it for breakfast. It will still be just as good.
The stuff. Pearled barley, tahini, pumpkin seeds and garlic. And some red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, kale, a carrot, some cauliflower, a lemon, a red onion, and a cucumber. (you are not going to need the full amount of all these veggies)
First off, cook the barley. The barley and water go into a pot, brought to a boil, then left on low to cook until tender. Once cooked, strain away excess water
While barley is cooking (or is cooked) chop up the veggies into mouth sized pieces. I used half the cucumber, half the onion, some of the cauliflower, all the kale, and all the carrot. It's not an exact measurement, you just want a good amount to toss into the salad.
Barley in bowl, topped with the veggies and pumpkin seeds.... The pretty before the mix. You don't need to add it like this, I just did it cause it looks good.
And the tahini sauce. Mince garlic and add to a jar or bowl with the juice of the lemon, vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper and give it a really good mix.
Creamy, zippy, oh so good.
Drizzle and toss the dressing with the barley and veggies.
And that's that. Now you are ready for eating.
Enjoy wherever this salad takes you.
Tahini Barley Salad
If eaten as a meal, serves 2-3. As a side dish, serves 6-8
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 large lemon
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 of a cucumber
- 1 small carrot
- 2 large kale leaves
- 1/2 of a red onion
- 1 cup of cauliflower florets
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Note. The vegetable amount and type is more of a preference. You could use all cucumber and onion or add broccoli and pepper, just make sure to have a least 3 good cups of some chopped up color.
Place barley and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and continue to cook until barley is tender, but not mushy, which should take about 45 minutes. Once cooked, strain excess water.
While the barley is cooking, chop all the veggies into small mouth sized pieces. And make the tahini sauce. Mince garlic and place in a bowl or jar. Add in tahini, the juice of the lemon, and the vinegar. Mix well until smooth then season with salt and pepper to taste.
When barley is cooked and drained, let cool for a few minutes then place in a big bowl. Add in all the veggies and the toasted pumpkin seeds, then drizzle with the tahini sauce and toss all around. Season with salt and pepper to taste..
Now eat still warm, or later at room renature, or place in fridge for it to get cold. It can be a filling meal or a great side dish. It's good all ways, any way.
Another note. This salad is great for parties and BBQ's and can be made a day or two ahead. If you do make ahead, hold off on mixing the pumpkin seeds and the tahini sauce with the rest of the salad until you are about to serve it.