This salad is perfect for potluck dinners. It holds well on a buffet and feeds plenty of eaters. Or keep the deliciousness for you and your family, and enjoy it for several days, lunch and dinner! Make about 6 cups, serves 12.
3tablespoonsrice vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 to 3ouncesfeta cheese, crumbled
½cupcoarsely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
Heat a grill or oven to medium-high or 350° F. Cut the tops off the beets and set them aside. Gently scrub any dirt from the beets and wrap them up in foil. Place the beets on the grill and grill-roast until they are-fork-tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Let them cool until you can handle them, then slip off the peel with your fingers. Dice the beets into ½-inch cubes.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring 3 to 4 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the barley and the first ½ teaspoon of the salt. Return to a simmer. Cook until the barley is tender to your tooth, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Wash the beet greens. Strip away and discard the stems. Cut the greens into ribbons, about ¼-inch thick.
Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds along with the onion. Cook until the onion turns translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. The mustard seeds will pop noisily. Add the beet greens and cook, stirring every so often, until the greens have wilted, about 5 minutes.
Mix the chopped beets, barley, and wilted greens in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the olive oil with the vinegar, the remaining salt and the cayenne. (see note)
Pour the dressing over salad, tossing until everything is lightly coated and well mixed. Refrigerate until the beets and barley are cold.
To serve, toss in the feta and chopped walnuts. Taste and adjust the salt and cayenne if you determine the salad needs more seasoning.
Use less cayenne if you want your salad less spicy.