I had the idea of this savoury barley salad because I wanted to come up with a variety of recipes that call for barley as the main ingredient. It’s September and the weather is getting cooler. This time of the year calls for soups and stews. I don’t know why, but every fall, I make lots of barley dishes. We’ve also been harvesting lots of product from our gardens on our farm, so we’ve been eating lots of veggie and barley dishes.
We have lots of carrots, so we’ve been eating them raw and I’ve been using them in different recipes. I keep the carrot tops/greens and use them in salads, casseroles, and other dishes. It occurred to me that I use carrots in many of my barley dishes!
I normally make beef and barley soup and other recipes with barley. One of our favourites is a beef, barley, vegetable salad, but I wanted to make a vegetarian version. My friend’s son is actually the inspiration for this dish. I wanted to come up with a vegetarian version for my friend’s teenage son. I am thrilled with the way this savoury barley salad turned out and I will be making it again and again.
- 1½ cups pearled barley
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- Olive oil
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 frozen peas
- 1 cup diced dried cranberries
- 4 chopped green onions or scallions
- 1 cup chopped carrot tops/greens OR flat leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot on medium high heat. Add the barley and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the carrots. Add the broth, and a teaspoon of salt. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the barley and mix well. Taste, and add salt if needed. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer until the barley is tender, about 45 minutes.
- Add dried cranberries and the peas. Remove from heat, drizzle olive oil and set aside to cool.
- Add the green onions and carrot tops/greens (or parsley) to a large bowl and mix well. Add the barley and mix everything together.
This savoury barley dish has a hint of sweetness from the cinnamon and dried cranberries. It’s packed with flavour and is a hearty side dish. If you have a vegetarian in the house, this is a great dish to serve. You can add legumes if you wish to include a vegetarian protein. If you want to make it a non-vegetarian dish, you can add beef or chicken.
My friend’s son enjoyed this savoury barley dish, so I decided to include it on the blog. Hope you enjoy it too.