This season’s favorite salad.

I’m a big fan of having salads in the fridge for quick meals during the summer months.  My new current favorite is based on a salad in ‘Salad Makes the Meal’ by Wiley Mullins.  The first time I made the Lentil & Bulgur salad, I failed to recognize that I had used Barley instead of Bulgur until I noticed it was taking forever for the grain to cook.  Yes, I realize they look nothing alike and clearly, it was a blonde moment for me.  In my defense, they both start with the letter ‘B’ and are grains.  I have made it with bulgur and realized I like it better with barley or it’s Italian cousin, farro.

I do include a few items from the recipe, but I also play pretty fast and loose with it, as I do most recipes that aren’t cake.  I also have found the Chive Blossom Vinegar I made this spring to be an excellent substitute for the red wine vinegar called for.

Becky’s Lentil & Barley Salad
1/2 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
Place lentils and garlic in a saucepan, cover with water by 2″ and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain well, transfer to large bowl.
1/2 cup barley (or other grain of your choice)
salt to taste
Place barley in a saucepan and cover with water by 2″ and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until tender and cooked through, about 20-40 minutes.  Drain and add to lentils.
(Both of these can also be cooked in broth for extra flavor.)
(In any combination)
Chopped celery, carrots,bell pepper, cucumbers.
Toasted nuts, such as cashews, slivered almonds or walnuts.
Chives or scallions, parsley
(The recipe calls for fruit to be added, such as an orange, grapes or raisins as well.)
Season with salt & pepper, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and toss.  Serve immediately or let it sit for a few hours in the fridge.  Also good with greens, either chopped and mixed in or served on a bed of them.

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