Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rosie Makes A Summer Salad.

There's nothing better in the summer
 than a light, cool, refreshing, vegetable salad, 
bursting with herbalicious goodness.
And that's exactly what I'm offering today.
 It's a barley salad with squash, zucchini, and cucumber, 
with a light, zesty dressing, and fresh herbs from my garden. 
This is a wonderfully delicate salad 
that pairs the best of summer vegetables
 with the nutty nuance of pearled barley
 and the vibrant, verdant, freshness of garden herbs. 
Gather 1 squash, 1 zucchini, and 2 small cucumbers. 
Get 3/4 cup of pearled barley.

I rinsed the barley and added it to a pot of salted water. This particular barley, Bascom's Fine Barley, was done in about 22 minutes. I also have a Quaker Quick Pearled Barley which cooks in 10 minutes. Other barleys, say Arrowhead Mills Organic Pearled Barley, take up to 1 1/4 hours. I recently bought the organic barley and will let you know of its virtues, if any. Barley, a good source of fiber and niacin, is full of natural whole grain goodness. It's a low fat, saturated fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free food. 

Start taste-testing the barley after about 15 minutes. 
This was nutty and toothy (al dente) in about 22 minutes. Drain. 
Prepare the veggies.
 Cut the cucumber, the squash, and the zucchini
 into a small dice - about 1/4 inch.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil 
and pour in the squash and zucchini.
 Cook for 30 seconds. 
Drain and rinse in cold water. 
Here's my barley and the cuke/zuke/squash mixture. 
Let everything cool before adding a mayo based dressing. 
Let's make the dressing:
 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
3 TB rice vinegar 
freshly ground salt and pepper AND ...
... fresh herbs.
 Parsley, dill, and tarragon. 
I have 3 TB parsley,  4 TB dill, and 1 TB tarragon. 
 If tarragon is a bit strong for you 
- it has an anise/licorice flavor - 
then substitute basil. 
Same idea, but more subtle. 
Whisk it, baby. 
I mixed the barley, cucumber, squash, and zucchini. 
And added in the fresh, herbalicious dressing. 
Toss to coat. 
You can serve this in a lettuce wrap, 
or with crackers, or on its own. 
Whatever way you serve it, this is divine. 
This is another "Trust Rosie" dish.
 And you're welcome.
 Since I just gave you the perfect dish 
to take to your Fourth of July party.
 Or your next picnic.
 Or block party.  
And if this one isn't enough,  
Imonna give you, ONCE AGAIN,
  Rosie's tried and true recipe, 
for her corn/bean tortilla pie.
 It's Partay Time and these are both excellent dishes 
 to offer at your next soiree.  
Or beer bash. 
What ev. 
 Trust Rosie. 

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