Friday, December 29, 2017

Egyptian Barley Salad

Last Year's Post: Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
Two Years Ago:   Hot and Sour Soup

This is a fun and pretty salad as a side dish or a vegetarian main entree, and you could always add some rotisserie chicken or turkey if you want to make it more substantial.   We've all heard that we need more whole grains in our diet, and barley is an excellent choice.  In addition to being chewy and delicious, barley contains eight amino acids which make it a complete protein. It's an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber and recent research indicates it even helps regulate blood sugar.

The salad dressing contains pomegranate molasses in addition to cinnamon and cumin, giving it a somewhat exotic taste.  The raising and pomegranate seeds add sweetness, and the pistachios add crunch.  One note about the feta - I find supermarket brands to be quite sour and salty.  I didn't really like feta until I discovered a french feta in my local natural foods store that advertises a "tangy yet delicate" flavor that is much less sour and salty (and more creamy) than other brands I've tried.  I would encourage you to try to search out a french feta for those reasons.

Cook the barley in advance because it takes about 40 minutes to cook and then needs to cool completely.  After that, it's just a matter of whisking the salad dressing and chopping a few ingredients so the salad comes together really fast.  When pomegranates are in season, this is a great salad to try.  And I've even heard that Whole Foods carried frozen pomegranate seeds year-round.

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