Back from vakay with a longggg to do list. What the heck! Let me get you this yummy salad how-to – still good for those end of summer picnics & BBQ’s. I’m making it tomorrow for the last “Jazz on the Lawn” concert.
We ate this at a dinner party up there. I couldn’t get enough of this. Neen and I had been wandering aimlessly around Sequoia National Park all day and arrived late & ravenous. How polite of us. With Nina’s help, I tried to replicate it when I got home and I’m please with the result! This salad is so satisfying, tasty & hearty. It’s REALLY easy to make. The most time-consuming part is boiling the grain which takes about 45 mins.
Here’s all you need:
1 1/2 c uncooked wheat berries or barley (barley is cheaper & easier to find but I was out)
8 oz feta (depending how much you like)
1/3 c sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 c sliced kalamata olives
parsley to taste
1/4 c olive oil
2-3 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice (about half an orange)
First, cook your grain according to package directions. You can do this a day ahead and chill in the fridge. Just be sure to drain thoroughly first.
Now drain & chill the barley. You don’t want it hot when you combine your ingredients.
NOTE: I didn’t really measure anything. I just added ingredients and tasted. That’s partly why this is such a simple salad – you can add more of things you like or have.
Combine ingredients in a large bowl.
Stir to combine and add dressing ingredients.
Here’s a rough approximation of the dressing amounts:
1/4 c olive oil
juice of half an orange
2-3 TBSP balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Whisk together dressing ingredients. Drizzle about half that on salad & stir to coat thoroughly. Taste & adjust, adding more dressing if needed. I don’t like a puddle of dressing at the bottom of my salad so I start light & add more. The barley will absorb the dressing but I liked this as leftovers for up to 3 days.
Don’t let Maddie’s excitement fool you. She didn’t dig this.
Jazz on the Lawn
Rogelio Mitchell & Friends
Sunday, August 26
Bring a picnic/blanket and/or low chairs!
Yesterday in L.A. it was cold out. And grey. What I mean is, we had to wear socks & jackets. But we didn’t – we wore flip flops.
Anyway, what better meal to come home to at the end of the day than a thick, warm soup with homemade croutons? Try this for your next Meatless Monday (since it’s now Tuesday…)
I made a barley vegetable soup a few month ago and it was really good but this one is WAY better. I had bought a bag of dried split peas a few weeks earlier because I thought they’d be tasty but I wasn’t sure exactly what to do with them. Since I still had some barley in my cupboard, I looked for a recipe combining the two and VOILA! With some adjustments I had a hearty, thick and really tasty soup. It called for croutons and since I didn’t have any I made ‘em! This is the first time and I want to tell you – make croutons as often as you have soup. They are REALLY easy to make & add that extra something that soup sometimes needs.
Here we go! You’ll need these items:
2 c dried yellow split peas, rinsed & drained
6 carrots, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 c pearl barley, rinsed & drained
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper, to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 TBSP olive oil
5 TBSP bouillon (I used vegetarian chicken flavored – you can also use vegetable broth or whatever you have on hand!)
10 c + 8 tsp water (adjust for desired thickness)
Let’s get started!
1. Saute chopped onions in the olive oil until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add crushed garlic for another minute. Be sure to stir occasionally to coat with oil.
2. Add carrots and celery. Stir to coat with oil and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
3. Add split peas and powdered bullion/water to pot OR vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat, add bay leaf and barley.
5. Simmer covered for about 2 hours.
No, it’s not 1:20PM. 60 minutes + 60 minutes.
D’OH!!! That’s a long time.
6. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add water/broth as needed. I like my soup sort of thick so I didn’t. Sprinkle some croutons on top & serve.
How to make the croutons??
6 oz whole grain bread, cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 TBSP butter (or, you can just use 2 more TBSP olive oil which is just as tasty)
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
NOTE: I used one of my homemade breads that I froze a few weeks earlier. If it doesn’t get eaten within the first day or so, I freeze it for croutons. I hadn’t actually made any croutons, EVER, but I knew I would! That said, you can use any old bread you have – so next time you have a couple of heels from your Oroweat sandwich loaf – wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or a ZipLoc and freeze ‘em!)
This is so easy!
1. Preheat oven to 375. Cut bread into 1/2″ cubes.
2. Heat olive oil in saucepan. Melt butter in oil over medium heat. (Incidentally, you can also just use oil if you prefer.)
3. Pour heated oil/butter and mustard over bread cubes & toss to coat.
4. Spread bread cubes across a cookie sheet evenly.
5. Bake for about 12 minutes. Taste one – it should be crunchy, not chewy. If it’s chewy return it to the oven for another 2 minutes.