Spring Greens + Barley Salad

If I appear obsessed with grain salads, it's true, I am. But before I move onto the next best thing, I need to share this recipe.

I promise it's the best one yet - Springtime in a bowl! The barley makes it plenty filling but adding chicken or salmon makes it dinner. You could also substitute farro or pearl cous cous.

I started with this tasty recipe I spotted in the SF Chronicle and made a few tweaks. I used barley because that's what I had on hand, English peas because I didn't have time to shell and blanch fava beans and a Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette because it kicks up the bright flavors big time - especially compared to just olive oil and vinegar.

Spring Greens + Barley Salad

  • 2 cups cooked barley (I like the quick-cook brand from Trader Joe's)
  • 2 cups frozen peas rinsed and thawed
  • 2-3 cups loosely packed arugula
  • 1/2 lb fresh asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 bunch green onions sliced into 1/4 pieces
  • Handful of chopped fresh basil 
  • 1-2 T lemon zest for garnish

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Dash of agave nectar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Blend first 5 ingredients thoroughly and then slowly add oil to emulsify.

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl or roomy platter, garnish with lemon zest and enjoy!