My Recipe Box

Barley & Black-Eyed Pea Salad

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Serves six to eight.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 28

I like the flavor and texture of frozen black-eyed peas, but you can also use canned (rinse them well and don’t cook them). Be sure to buy pearled barley, which has been hulled and polished. Barley that isn’t pearled never really softens when cooked.

For the salad:
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 1-1/2 cups rich vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen black-eyed peas
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, charred, peeled, and diced
  • 1 cup seeded and diced ripe tomato
  • 3/4 to 1 cup diagonally sliced scallions (white and green parts)
  • 1 cup cooked fresh (or thawed, frozen) corn kernels
  • Green and red leaf lettuce leaves (optional)
For the vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lime or lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. finely minced cilantro
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a dry saucepan, lightly toast the barley over moderate heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently until the liquid is absorbed and the barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, partially uncovered, until cooled to room temperature before stirring.

Meanwhile, cook the peas in lightly salted boiling water until just tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, and set aside. (If using canned peas, don’t cook them, just rinse them well.) Meanwhile, cook the peas in lightly salted boiling water until just tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, and set aside. (If using canned peas, don’t cook them, just rinse them well.)

To make the vinaigrette:

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime (or lemon) juice, zest, garlic, cumin, cilantro, oil, and honey; add salt and pepper to taste. In a large glass bowl, layer the barley, peas, roasted pepper, tomato, scallions, and corn. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss before serving. If you like, arrange greens on serving plates and top with the salad.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 150; Fat (g): fat g 6; Fat Calories (kcal): 50; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 1; Protein (g): protein g 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 24; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 160; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 0; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Mark Thomas

This is an unusual salad with great crowd appeal. It is a hit every time I serve it.

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