Warm Barley Salad

A couple of weeks ago, I had dinner at Zut! restaurant in Berkeley with a few friends.  On the menu was a warm farro salad.  With my first bite, I was in love, so I decided to recreate it at home.  I love farro!  It’s a whole grain very much like barley.  For the life of me, I could not find faro anywhere (even though I swear I’ve seen it somewhere before)–not at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.  So, I found dried barley at Whole Foods for $1.39/lb and used that instead.  And it yielded delicious results.  Try out this great recipe.  It works as a wonderful side dish to share or as a hardy entrée just for yourself.

Warm Barley Salad

4 Servings
$0.75/servings = $3.00 total

3 cups of water
1 cup of barley (dried)
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
8 large Medjool dates, chopped
1/3 cup of raisins
2 cups of spinach
lemon juice, to taste (2 tbsp is recommended)
salt and pepper, to taste
16-20 mint leaves, julienned
1 large avocado, halved

Bring the water to a boil, add the barley to the pot, bring water to a simmer, and place lid on top.  Cook for about 35-45 minutes until barley is cooked all the way through.

Once barley is cooked, heat up a non-stick skillet on medium heat.  After 2-3 minutes, add the olive oil and the onions.  Cook the onions for about 3-5 minutes until translucent.  Add the cooked barley, dates, and raisins.  Cook for 3-5 minutes.  Add the spinach and cook until the spinach is softened.  Add lemon, salt, and pepper.  Right before serving, stir in the mint, place the mixture into a serving bowl, and serve with the avocado halves on top.

It’s chewy, it’s sweet, it’s savory, it’s delicious.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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