I’m sneaking in a couple of late summer recipes before switching over to apples and squash and cold weather comfort food. There is still corn at my local farmer’s market, and plenty of tomatoes too. I imagine if I can find late summer produce in a cold, northern country where there were only SIX days of summer weather this year, you probably can too.
Barley is a nice whole grain. It’s got a nice nutty flavour, pleasant toothsomeness, and it cooks up quickly. It’s a great substitute for longer cooking whole grains like brown rice if you haven’t got the time to cook them up. I like barley against the smokiness of charred corn and the sweetness of late summer tomatoes in this salad. Just add a couple of big fistfuls of greens and a honey-lime dressing and you’re done like dinner.
Barley Salad With Charred Corn and Tomatoes Reicpe:
I don’t have a barbecue, so I charred my corn stove-top on a smoking hot heavy enamel skillet. As for the greens, I used a few leaves of Lacinato kale sliced into ribbons, and a big handful of carrot tops (!) finely minced. I’d say about a cup of each went into the salad. Paul found the kale tough, but I liked it just fine. Use whatever greens you have on hand that need using.
1 cup uncooked barley
2 large cobs of corn, shucked and rinsed
2 large tomatoes, diced, or a pint of cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 cups mixed seasonal greens, sliced or chopped
Juice of 1 lime (about 2-3 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Rinse the barley well, and set into a medium pot with plenty of water. Bring to a boil, covered, then reduce to a simmer for 15 min. The barley should be chewy, not crunchy or mushy, when it is ready. Drain and set aside to cool.
If you have a grill, use it to char your corn. If not, get a heavy skillet really hot, then set the corn directly onto it – no oil or anything else. If you want, you can put a lid on the skillet so the corn steams a little as it chars, but check it frequently and keep turning it. Once the corn has a nice char on it, remove from the heat and set aside to cool. When the corn is cool enough to handle use a sharp knife to slice the kernels off of the cobs (you can save the cobs in the freezer for veggie stock).
Whisk together lime juice, honey, and olive oil to make your dressing.
In a large bowl combine barley, corn kernels, diced tomatoes, red onion, and greens. Pour the dressing over top and give the salad a good toss to combine everything. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
Barley is a great source of dietary fiber, selenium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. Corn is a good source of niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate and vitamins B-6, E and K, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. Corn is an industrialized crop which has been heavily genetically modified. Seek out local and organic corn whenever possible. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, and the antioxidant carotenoid lycopene (good for your prostates, fellas!). Whatever greens you choose will be rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants.
Do ahead: This salad can be made and kept in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you’re using kale for your greens, go ahead and dress the salad in advance, it’ll only help soften the kale. Any less sturdy greens should be kept un-dressed until right before serving.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2012