Beet, Barley & Walnut Salad

"I love grain salads and find those made with barley tend to keep very well. If you make this ahead, you'll just need to store the beets separately. I think this makes enough for about 8 as a side. This came from Alive Magazine. I like to add some fresh herbs into the dressing, whatever I have on hand. Other types of vinegar would work well here."
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Ready In:




  • If you have one, use a pot that has a steamer attachment.
  • Bring about 4 cups of water to boil, add in the tsp of salt and the barley. Stir, cover, reduce heat to low and leave to cook for 40 minutes. Stir a few times along the way to prevent sticking.
  • Meanwhile, wash and scrub or peel the beets then dice them into cubes. Place them into your steamer attachment and steam them over the cooking barley for about 20 minutes, (or steam seperately in another pot if need be). Do a knife test to be sure they're done, you want them firm but easily cut through. Move the cooked beets to a bowl to cool.
  • While the beets steam, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, mustard, the 1/4 tsp salt (or less to taste) and peper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive and walnuts oils to get a nice emulsion. Toss about 1/4 of the dressing into the cooling beets and set aside.
  • Once the barley is cooked, rinse in cold water to cool and then drain well. Fluff the barley with a fork and toss with about 3/4 of the remaining dressing. Toss in the arugula or other salad greens and the toasted walnuts.
  • Spread the barley/salad mixture on a large serving dish. Top with the beets and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Excellent salad! I hadn't thought of barely in a salad before, but now that this recipe has opened my eyes, I'm going to do it more often! I cooked the beets in a steamer above the barley, and that had the effect of turning the barely pink. Another good idea to keep in mind, but I think in this recipe I'd prefer the barley to be more natural. Also, just to be fancy, I put the greens on the bottom of the plate, molded the barley with a little terrine on top. Then topped that with the beets, sprinkled the walnuts all over and drizzled with the dressing. Woud be a super nice salad to present to guests if you have the occasion to served plated salads.
  2. This is even better than expected! Use canned whole baby beets & it's even simpler. Everyone loved it! Made for Veggie Swap 3/12.


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