I’m always looking for salads that can be prepared when the vegetable bins are empty. This one is simple to prepare and can be made using simple pantry and freezer items. The nuttiness of the barley in concert with the varied colors and textures of the other ingredients makes this salad unique and delicious. This salad is so versatile in that different vegetables and ingredients can be add to vary the textures, flavors and colors of this salad.
When I first prepared this salad, Leah felt that the vinegar was too intense and Kaitlyn thought that the vinegar was just right. Kaitlyn and I agreed that the acidity of the vinegar helped identify this as a salad, while Leah considered this as a barley pilaf. I therefore left the proportions of salt, pepper, vinegar and oil to you.
This salad can be easily made in advance. When doing so, just use a scant amount of vinegar during advance preparation. You can add more vinegar if necessary right before serving.
1 cup barley
2 cups water
1 red onion, diced small
1 package frozen edamame
1 can corn (optional)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pecans or your favorite nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
drizzle of olive oil
drizzle of cider vinegar
In a rice cooker or in a saucepan, cook 1 cup of barley with 2 cups of cold water and a bit of salt.
Prepare frozen shelled edamame according to package directions.
In a large bowl, toss barley with dried cranberries, diced onion, nuts, edamame and corn. Add salt, pepper, vinegar and oil. Toss well.