This summer salad combines barley, a satisfying, nutty grain, with fresh vegetables. Flavored with mint, parsley, garlic and lemon, it might remind you of tabbouleh, a Middle Eastern dish traditionally made with bulghur wheat. Barley has one of the lowest glycemic loads of any grain, and parsley has carminative (intestinal gas-relieving) and diuretic properties, making it an excellent tonic ingredient. Look for the flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, which has a more pronounced flavor than the curly leaf variety. This dish makes a healthy alternative to the usual picnic or potluck potato salad. Try it as a light meal all on its own, or as a wonderful accompaniment to other dishes.
Food as Medicine
Barley’s fiber is a rich source of beta glucan, a substance that helps control cholesterol by binding to bile acids.
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 cup pearl barley
Salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
1 bunch radishes, sliced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (or 1/4 cup dried mint)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3-4 cloves garlic, mashed
Salt to taste
1. Bring to a boil the vegetable stock (or water). Add barley and salt. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Drain well and place in a medium bowl.
2. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over barley.
3. Allow barley to cool, then add the parsley, scallions, radishes, cucumber, red pepper and mint.
4. Mix well and chill for several hours before serving.
Nutrients Per Serving
Protein: 3.1 grams
Fat: 5.7 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.8 grams
Monounsat Fat: 3.8 grams
Polyunsat Fat: 0.7 grams
Carbohydrate: 30.4 grams
Fiber: 4.8 grams
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Vitamin A: 1,343.3 IU
Vitamin E: 0.9 mg/IU
Vitamin C: 46.4 mg
Calcium: 43.3 mg
Magnesium: 33.6 mg