Crunchy cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, and basil make a refreshing pearl barley salad.
I get bored with eating healthy foods when I don’t shake it up. If I stick with the same old standby vegetables, fruits, seafood, poultry, beef, herbs, spices . . . la, la, la – boredom strikes.
Perusing my favorite blogs, I found this recipe for Panzanella di Farro from oldwaystable.org. The recipe calls for farro. I’ve never heard of farro, and neither has Fred Meyer. It couldn’t be found in the isles, or in the health food bins.
I can improvise with the best of them, which means pearl barley is my grain of choice. There was a whole bin of it in the health food section, and it was cheap!
Of course, this meant I had to ask the cashier if she knew how to cook barley. The clerk was impressive. She used pearl barley in her stews – helpful, but probably not for my improvised salad.
So really, what is farro? Google strikes again!
“Farro is food product consisting of the grains of certain wheat species in whole form. The exact definition is debated (see below). It is sold dried and is prepared by cooking in water until soft, but still crunchy (many recommend first soaking over night). …”
I’ll find farro another day. I’m happy with my substitute. The pearl barley has a nutty flavor that balanced perfectly with my sweet tomatoes and spicy arugula.
Shaking it up a bit works for me every time.
- 1 ½ cups pearled barley, cooked
- 4 ounces arugula
- ½ pinch cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ½ large cucumber, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 large scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 large radishes, thinly halved and thinly sliced
- ½ cup basil, fresh and chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1. Combine barley, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, scallions and radishes in a large bowl.
- 2. In a small bowl combine olive oil, vinegar and salt.?3. Toss with barley mixture, and add arugula and basil. Gently toss to combine. Serve with a grind of pepper.
What’s good for me in this dish?
Pearl barley tops the chart with fiber and selenium. Fiber is a great fill you up for dieters and is great for colon health. And studies show that selenium may reduce the risk of lung cancer, colorectal and prostate cancers.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 189, Weight Watchers Points 4
Total Fat: 10.31g
Total Carbs: 21.71g
Dietary Fiber: 4.47g
Nutrition details obtained from whfoods.org, nutritiondata.com, about.com, and abouthomecooking.com.