By David Hu
Today’s recipe, Mediterranean Barley Almond Salad, is a versatile dish that can be used as a vegetarian main course or a side dish with meat. This salad also makes a welcome contribution to potlucks or picnics. Roasting almonds intensifies the nutty flavor and adds a nice crunch – it’s such an easy step, don’t skip it!
Mediterranean Barley Almond Salad
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup quick-cooking pearl barley
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 large red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup diced zucchini
1/2 cup slivered almonds, roasted*
1/3 cup diced scallions
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a medium pot. Stir in barley. Cover and reduce heat; simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, place kidney beans, bell pepper, zucchini, almonds and scallions in a large salad bowl. Transfer cooked barley to colander and rinse with cold water (both to cool it down and keep it from getting sticky). Transfer cooled, drained barley to salad bowl. Add oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste; toss and serve.
* To roast slivered, chopped or sliced almonds : Spread in an ungreased baking pan. Place in 350ºF oven and bake 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant; stir once or twice to assure even browning. Note that almonds will continue to roast slightly after removing from oven.
Source: Almond Board of California
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