Vego Challenge - Barley Salad with Feta and Walnuts

I now know the importance of trying everything once. A few weeks ago when I cooked barley for the first time, I remember questioning myself... 'Why am I eating bird food?' but after tasting it I really like the unique texture and I'm eager to try making different dishes with it. Not long after, I made this beautiful salad. It is by no means a 'normal' salad, the walnuts give it a lot of crunch while the barley has a slightly chewy texture. Combined with creamy and salty feta and the punchy dressing, the salad has so much flavour and dimension. My friend who is annoyingly pessimistic when he tries new food actually absolutely loooves this!

This will serve 4.
You will need - 
  • 1 cup (220g) pearl barley
  • 1/3 cup (55g) chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 75g wild rocket
  • 100g feta, crumbled

    Lemon basil dressing
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed 
  • 2 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
  •  1/4 cup finely sliced basil leaves
1. Place barley in a saucepan with 1.5L (6 cups) boiling water. Simmer for 25 minutes or until just tender.
2. Rinse under cold water, then drain.
3. To make dressing, place all ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well.
4. Place walnuts, olives, tomatoes and rocket in a large bowl with barley.
5. Add dressing, toss to combine. Serve in bowls, top with feta and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

If you don't have a screw-top jar, you can use a container like I did. Just make sure you hold onto the lid tightly. This salad is best eaten while the barley is still warm and tender. Try this instead of a Caesar salad sometime, it really is a wholesome and flavoursome delight!


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