I love this combination of tender chewy barley with juicy tomatoes and cucumbers. Many people know how much I love vinegar in salads, and in this one the hit of acidity seems to add depth to the tomatoes, and really brings it together.
1 cup (250 mL) pot barley
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) each chopped fresh basil and mint
3 tbsp (45 mL) red wine vinegar
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable or soybean oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
Pinch fresh ground pepper
2 firm ripe tomatoes, chopped
In a pot of boiling water, cook barley for about 35 minutes or until tender but still chewy. Drain and rinse with cold water; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine cucumber, onion, basil and mint. Drizzle with vinegar and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add cooked barley and tomatoes and stir well to combine.
Makes 6 servings.
Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Be sure to stir the salad up well before serving.
If your cucumbers have a lot of seeds in them, be sure to scrape them out before chopping and adding to the salad.