Barley & Spinach Salad

Best served warm, this salad features barley, spinach, mushrooms, shallots and basil. This dish works well as a light meal or side dish with dinner. Tastes great and is good for you.

Photo by Dana M.

PREP TIME

10

minutes

TOTAL TIME

50

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

PREP TIME

10

minutes

TOTAL TIME

50

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

Ingredients

  • 1

    cup pearl barley (7 1/2-ounces)

  • 3

    cups chicken stock

  • 4

    thyme sprigs

  • 2

    garlic cloves, minced

  • Salt

  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 10

    ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered (4-cups)

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 2

    shallots, thinly sliced

  • 7

    ounces baby spinach (8-cups)

  • 1/4

    cup basil leaves, torn

  • 3

    tablespoons mint, chopped

  • 1/4

    cup sherry vinegar

  • 1

    tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 2

    tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 1

    cup grape tomatoes, halved

  • 7

    ounces firm tofu, drained and crumbled

Directions

In a medium saucepan, combine the barley, stock, thyme and half of the garlic. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the barley is tender, 25 minutes. Discard the thyme. Drain the barley and transfer to a large bowl; cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes longer. Scrape the mushrooms into the barley and toss. Add the spinach, basil and mint, but do not stir. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the remaining garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened´╗┐. Add the vinegar, lemon juice and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until heated through. Stir in the tofu and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the dressing over the salad and toss. Serve warm.

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