Wednesday, September 1, 2010


When I saw this recipe at, I knew that I would make it.  It contained some of my favorite foods - barley, chickpeas, nuts and dried fruit.  I did some tweaking to the recipe including using less olive oil, substituting almonds for the pistachio nuts and decreasing some of the proportions of the ingredients.  It is a salad that can be eaten at lunchtime or suppertime, as a main entree or side dish and it is not just a summer salad.   The flavours are interesting as it contains a number of spices.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot on medium high heat. Add the barley (1.5 cups) and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir often so that the barley does not get too brown. Add 1 1/2 cups water, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and 1 tsp salt. Simmer for 30 minutes until the barley is cooked and the liquid has evaporated.

Let the barley cool in the pot.

In a large bowl, add a 19 ounce can of drained, rinsed and strained chickpeas. 
Coarsely chop 1/2 cup almonds and 1/2 cup diced dried apricots and add to the bowl. 
Chop 1/2 cup parsley and 2 green onions and add 2 tbsp olive oil and 4 tbsp lemon juice to the bowl. Mix together.  Add the barley to the bowl.
This is a spice mixture that you will add to the bowl once you combine these spices in a small container - 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp cardamon, 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1/8 tsp ginger, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp turmeric. Mix the salad well. 

The finished product. Letting the salad marinate for at least an hour will enhance the flavours.  If the salad is too dry for you, additional olive oil and lemon juice can be added.

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