2/3 cup dry pearled barley
2 cups spinach leaves
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 cups of chopped peppers
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
Optional: fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme
AN EASY, INEXPENSIVE SALAD WHICH CAN BE MADE WITH ANY VEGETABLES THAT YOU HAVE AVAILABLE. COOK THE BARLEY THE DAY BEFORE AND COOL IN THE REFRIGERATOR. THIS SALAD IS BEST MADE A FEW HOURS BEFORE SERVING SO THE FLAVOURS WILL BLEND.
1. To cook barley: put 1 & ½ cups of water in a large pan, preferably one with a lid. Cover and bring to a boil. Add the dry barley, cover and reduce heat to low-medium. Cook at a slow boil until all the water is absorbed. This will take at least 35 minutes and may take 50 minutes. When the barley is cooked, transfer the barley to a container to cool and store covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the salad.
2. Put the cooked barley in a large bowl. The barley will be sticky; use a fork to separate the barley. Mix in the vegetables so they are evenly distributed. Add the extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If you are using fresh herbs, tear into small pieces and add to the bowl with the salt and pepper.
MAKES 4 SERVING