Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
A very simple easy salad, healthy start to the New Year. A light simple dressing with fresh ricotta salata cheese and served on it's own or serve over a bed of fresh baby greens - I happen to like watercress for this. A rich hearty oat bread on the side. You can use leftover chicken, or cook a couple of chicken breasts up, or better yet, finish off that turkey in your freezer.
- 1 1⁄2 cups chicken (cooked and diced)
- 1 1⁄4 cups pearl barley (uncooked)
- 1 small onion, fine chopped
- 1⁄2 cup celery, fine chopped
- 1 cup sliced cremini mushroom
- 1 cup walnut halves (4 oz)
- 1 cup ricotta salata (about 4 oz)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2⁄3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, about 1 lemon (fresh)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
- ricotta salata
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Barley -- Cook the barley according to directions. Depending on the brand, cooking directions can vary, so cook accordingly. I also love to use a vegetable or chicken broth to cook the barley in for an extra layer of flavor.
- Dressing -- As the barley cooks, make the dressing. Simply mix in the olive oil, vinegar, honey, lemon juice , lemon zest, garlic, salt, pepper and parsley. Just stir well to combine and set to the side. Room temperature NOT cold.
- Walnuts -- In a medium to large sauce pan, the same one you will be cooking the vegetables in, heat to medium / medium high, dry, NO oil, add the walnuts and lightly toast. They only take a couple of minutes. Once toasted, remove to a paper towel to let cool.
- Vegetables -- Again, as the barley cooks, in that pan you used for the walnuts, add the olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add in the celery, onions and mushrooms and cook until tender. Add in your chicken or turkey and cook another minute until tender.
- Salad -- In a large bowl, add the warm cooked barley (drained well), the vegetables and chicken, walnuts and vinaigrette. Make sure to whisk the vinaigrette again before adding it to the barley. Then after tossing well, add the ricotta salata, check for salt and pepper, and toss once more.
- Serve -- You can serve as is, or plate a small bed of watercress. Just mix the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss with the greens. Then top the greens with the warm barley salad and then garnish with a little extra ricotta salata.
- A nice light healthy warm salad. ENJOY!