Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pearl barley salad with watercress,radish, asparagus, sugar snap peas and feta

Fresh and vibrant - this is the perfect spring salad. Tender watercress, combined with steamed asparagus and sweet sugar snap peas, sweet and crunchy radish, burst of spicy tart capers and salty feta all tossed with chewy pearl barley. The baby watercress is extremely tender and does not take to heavy dressings. Hence I dressed it with a very simple vinaigrette with a tinge of garlic for punch.

If you are in the NY/NJ area, look for the Dream Greens brand of baby greens. I bought mine at Freshdirect and fell in love with their quality.

Pearl barley salad with watercress, radish, asparagus, sugar snap peas and feta
1 cup pearl barley
2.5 oz baby watercress leaves
3 red radish, thinly sliced
6 thick asparagus spears
1 cup sugar snap peas
2 tablespoons capers in brine
3.5 oz Greek feta cheese, crumbled

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 teaspoon grated garlic (use the microplane)
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cook the barley as per the instructions on the packet. I cooked mine in salted water for 30 minutes and it was cooked and chewy. Drain the excess water and cool in the serving dish.
  2. Bring another pot of water to a boil. While the water is boiling, trim the asparagus and chop into 1/2 inch piece leaving the tips whole. Once the water comes to a boil, add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cook the asparagus in the boiling water uncovered for 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the cooked barley. 
  3. Bring the same pot of water to a boil again and add the sugar snap peas. Cook for 3 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon and add to the barley and asparagus mixture.
  4. Once everything has cooled, add the capers, radish and feta cheese and mix well. 
  5. Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients for the dressing and add to the salad tossing to coat all the ingredients with the dressing.
  6. Finally add the delicate water cress leaves and mix gently.
Serves 4

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