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Barley and Beet Green Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Who wants to turn on the oven in this weather? Make a big main course salad for dinner. Greens and grains always please a crowd–take this barley and beet green salad with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette to your next potluck dinner.

Barley and Beet Green Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette

This computer sits in the coolest room in our house. That translates to normal home office attire of a light fleece sweater and some sort of leggings, sweats or ankle length pants.

Not this week. I’m at my standup desk wearing a sleeveless top and shorts. It’s a Park City heat wave out there. Yesterday it topped out at 89 and the day before, the digital thermometer on the shady side of the house read 90 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s why we’ve been having salad for dinner this whole week.

Utah Sego Lily

Gorgeous white sego lilies are popping up on the south side of Quarry Mountain, our favorite nearby and near-daily hike. You don’t always see the solitary blossoms, Utah’s state flower. Wildflower references say they prefer dry sunny areas and our hike certainly is that.

Robin's eggs in our front yard

Yesterday a robin flushed low near our front deck, causing Robbie to inspect the crabapple tree. Sure enough there is a nest with 4 precious blue eggs. It will be fun to witness the baby birds with their mouths open ready for worms. I love waking to happy robin chirping each summer morn.

There were 4 different quinoa salads, each delicious in its own way, at a housewarming this week. Quinoa salads are definitely in fashion and I am on the bandwagon–as in my Quinoa and Lentil Salad or my Quinoa Tabbouleh.

Let’s go against the quinoa trend. (Quinoa is a seed, so we can’t go against the grain.) Put together pleasantly chewy barley and magenta beet greens, dress them with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette, and declare your independence this Thursday night July 4th!

Beet Greens and Barley for Barley and Beet Green Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette

cooked barley for Barley and Beet Green Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette

chiffonade beet greens for Barley and Beet Green Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette

This recipe makes a huge bowl—plenty to serve 10 to 15 people. If you don’t want that much—just cut the amounts in half.

We found gorgeous purple young beet greens in our Ranui Gardens CSA box—therefore the beet greens. Feel free to substitute any other green, like kale or spinach. I include garlic scapes and a shallot, for allium zest, but if you can tone it down with a bit less of each. (Robbie said it was not that spicy—but he sprinkles sriracha chili sauce on everything.)

garlic scapes and sun-dried tomatoes for Barley and Beet Green Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette

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Barley and Beet Green Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette
Ingredients
  • 2 cups pearled barley
  • 4 quarts water
  • ½ teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon Real Salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil , or a mixture of the two
  • ½ cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
  • Scant ½ cup chopped garlic scapes
  • 1 shallot , finely chopped
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon tamari soy sauce
  • 1 bunch beet greens , washed and stems removed
  • 4 ounces goat cheese , cut into pieces (optional for vegans)
Instructions
  1. Bring the barley, water and first 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the barley is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse with cold water. Refrigerate if the other ingredients are not yet ready.
  3. While the barley is cooking, make the vinaigrette.
  4. Mix the balsamic and red wine vinegars in a bowl with the mustard, cayenne and remaining salt.
  5. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in and incorporate the oil. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, the scapes and the shallot. Set aside.
  6. In medium-hot skillet, stirring constantly, toast the sunflower seeds, When the sunflower seeds are lightly toasted, immediately stir in the tamari soy sauce and remove from the heat. Set aside.
  7. Cut the beet greens in fine ribbons: Stack 6 to 7 leaves, roll them like a cigar and slice the roll very thinly.
  8. Mix the vinaigrette, beet green ribbons, and tamari sunflower seeds into the cooked barley. Drop in the goat cheese chunks, if using, and mix everything very well.
  9. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate and serve within 2 days.

7 comments

  • I can’t wait to have Les try this one! Reply · 1 July, 2013

  • Letty, this recipe looks fabulous and I love your photo’s! The Robin’s eggs are so pretty! I look forward to trying this recipe! Reply · 1 July, 2013

    • Thanks Maura–Mrs. Robin is not often in her nest when I peek, when she is–“nests” around. Keep em’ warm mama–we want to see some cute baby birds. Reply · 2 July, 2013

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    Can’t wait to taste this on Thurs evening. Happy Fourth! Reply · 1 July, 2013

    • I am glad to hear you will bring it to the party! Reply · 2 July, 2013

  • […] case you were wondering, the robin eggs in the tree off our front porch have hatched. The babies are now 4 days old and looking less prehistoric each day. Mrs. Robin is […] Reply · 8 July, 2013

  • […] Barley and Beet Green Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette from Letty’s Kitchen […] Reply · 24 September, 2015

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