This oh-so-delicious salad is wholesome and packed with so much flavor. It’s become my absolute favorite since it requires nothing exotic. Its full of ingredients that is always available in our pantry. The crunch from the veggies, the freshness from the fruits and the zing from the vinaigrette makes you want to go back for more.
Certain ingredients have such strong memories (not good ones!) attached to them that it becomes so difficult to get over it. One such ingredient is pearl barley. As a kid my mum used to give me barley water since it boosted your immunity and kept fever at bay. I hated the sight of it. And suddenly times have changed. Being a mum myself, I wanted to introduce barley to my son but definitely not the way I had it. I wanted it to be more interesting, colorful and appealing. I was contemplating between a barley soup versus barley salad. Seeing a whole array of fresh produce in my fridge I had to toss up a salad. My husband, my lil one and me – we all loved it. I keep making iterations to this recipe and its simply amazing. Its vibrant, its fresh and its delicious.
So when you face time crunch and yet want to eat something interesting, this is the recipe to fall upon. Be healthy, be happy – keep enjoying this salad!
INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)
For the salad:
- 1 cup cooked barley
- 1 raw mango, diced into small cubes
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 large tomato, cut into small cubes
- 1/3 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
- 2 tbsp dried cranberry, roughly chopped (optional)
- 3 orange segments for garnishing (optional)
For the dressing:
- juice of 1 1/2 medium sized lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp dried mint
- zest of 1 lemon
- salt, to taste
- freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
- In a glass jar/bottle combine lemon juice, olive oil, honey, dried mint, lemon zest, salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Put the lid and give it a good shake until all the ingredients are combined.
- Place it in the fridge for atleast 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, take a cooking brush and brush olive oil on the red bell pepper. Put it to roast on the gas flame.
- Make sure all the sides are well charred. Once that is done, remove it from the flame and put it in a bowl filled with ice water.
- Deseed it, remove the skin partially and chop it into small cubes, similar to how the other ingredients have been chopped.
- In a bowl combine diced raw mango, red bell pepper, tomatoes, basil leaves, cranberry and 1/2 toasted pine nuts and keep aside.
- Take the serving plate, put a generous amount of pearl barley in the center. Place the vegetable and fruit mixture on top. Garnish it with toasted pine nuts.
- Just before serving, take out the dressing from the fridge, give it a good shake and drizzle it over the salad and dig in!