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Friday, March 3, 2017

ABC (Asparagus, Barley and Chickpea) Salad


   Back in the fall I bought a GIANT bag of pearled barley.  I had big plans for using it in all sorts of soups and stews and other lovely wintery comfort food.  I did make a few lovely soups, including this delicious Creamy Mushroom and Barley Soup.  Mmmm! But it turns out when you only use barley a cup at a time, it takes a while to get through a big old bag.  So I needed to mix it up and make something a bit more spring and summer friendly.


    That's right, put away the soup pot.  Barley is coming into a new season!  This really isn't much different than the quinoa salad kick I went on.  But this take is even fresher and more filling!  It would be a great picnic side as it is portable and can be made ahead.  It would be great for a nice dinner served alongside a piece of grilled meat.  Can't you imagine it with a lovely chicken breast, or pork chop, or fish?  It also makes a great lunch on it's own.  In fact, I brought the leftovers to work for lunch for 4 days.  I didn't need anything else and it held up really well even as the days went on.



     So if you are looking for a new fresh side, this is definitely worth making!  Even my manly man, steak and potatoes husband really enjoyed it.  He mentioned how much he like it at least twice over the course of dinner.  That's saying something too.



     If that last bit of barley is already working its way toward the back of the pantry, stop! Pull it out and put it to good use!

Asparagus, Barley and Chickpea Salad
serves 8 as a side

Ingredients:

1 cup pearled barley
1 lb asparagus
1 15oz can chickpeas
4 T lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
3 T fresh chives, chopped

  1. Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to boil.  Add a pinch of salt.  Add the barley, return to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer for about 40 minutes or until barley is tender.  Allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, trim the ends off the asparagus and cut into two inch pieces.  Cook until tender crisp using your favorite method.  You can blanch them, steam them or even a couple of minutes in the microwave will do.
  3. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Toss in the asparagus and barley. Stir in the herbs and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

18 comments:

  1. Gimmie them chickpeas girl! My family doesn't like them but I love them so this will be a salad that I would make just for me and have a couple days at work for my lunches! Thank you doll and I hope your weekend is sweet and full of wonderful moments!

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    1. I love them too, but Matt only tolerates them. So he'll eat what I put them in once and then I usually add an extra can of chickpeas to the leftovers and take them for lunch! ;-)

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  2. I love asparagus and it goes so well in grain salads like this. Fresh flavors like lemon juice and fresh herbs take your recipe over the top! Pinned! I found you at the Weekend Potluck.

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    1. Thank you so much. A few warm days have me in the mood for more fresh flavors again!

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  3. My "soup" barley doesn't go very fast either! This sounds very tasty!

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    1. It's a good way to use it up a bit faster! I do like it in soup, but our husbands not liking soup for dinner really slows down the use. We really need to get them on the soup train!

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  4. Yum! We grow asparagus and I love finding new recipes to make and try! Thanks for sharing this with us at Funtastic Friday!

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    1. I am jealous of your asparagus patch! I hope you enjoy this tasty way to eat it!

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  5. I think barley is really under rated - it's so delicious and just soaks up all kinds of flavors. This sounds right up my alley, Carlee! I love your new banner, btw!!

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    1. Thank you!! I am starting to think the same thing. I hadn't experimented with barley much other than in soups but now I can't wait to play more!

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  6. Hi Carlee, we never used to be able to get barley here, but now we can I always make sure we have a bag in, I add it to soups stews and even use it instead of rice. I love the stuff. This dish would go well as a summer side with meat fresh off the barbecue.

    xx

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    1. I do love it in soups, I'll have to try in in place of rice too! It would be perfect with barbecue, wouldn't it? Thank you so much!

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  7. This does sound like a good salad Carlee. I always appreciate a new and interesting salad so thank you.

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    1. It is fun to have something a little different every now and again, isn't it? Thank you!

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  8. Simple, healthy and delicious, right up my alley! i will have to try this for lunch soon!

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    1. Thank you so much, I hope you love it!

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  9. Your photos are lovely! And this salad looks so fresh and tasty. Pinning for an upcoming picnic. Thanks for joining us at The Blended Blog for Tasty Tuesday.

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    1. Thank you so much, I hope you enjoy it!

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