Healthy Summer Salads

If you feel like you’re swimming in a sea of desserts right now, let me offer you brief respite, courtesy of the Big Girls, Phoebe and Cara (also known as the quarter life cooks).  I watched Phoebe on an episode of the Barefoot Contessa a while back, and I’ve been a big fan ever since.  She and her partner in crime, Cara, compiled their favorite recipes in a cookbook that hit shelves this spring, and has already been put to good use in casa glass of milk.  I can already vouch for their tried-and-true staples like pancakes, grilled cheese, and dressy peas (with white wine and butter), and have their fancy fare like sexy-ugly onion tart, and noodles with BGSK peanut sauce high on my list.

Earlier this summer I was looking for a salad that would feed (and please) a crowd, and I decided on corn and barley salad with lemon-chive vinaigrette.  I took some liberties with Cara and Phoebe’s recipe by doubling it, swapping canned for fresh corn, and adding lemon zest.  The result was a salad that I happened to notice on most of the plates I passed.  Everyone loved it.  Like, asked me for the recipe loved it. If you don’t have room for your local, summer corn on the grill, this salad is a great way to showcase it.  You may want to cook the barley and corn ahead of the game, even a day in advance, and then throw the vinaigrette together later.

To serve at least 12 people, you will need:

  • 7 or 8 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 C barley, rinsed in cold water and drained
  • 4 T finely chopped chives
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 C white wine vinegar
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the corn for about 3 minutes (I don’t have a pot that can handle 7 at once, so I do this in rounds).  When the corn is cool enough to handle, remove the kernels from the cob using a large, sharp knife.
Meanwhile, in a stockpot or Dutch oven, bring 5 C water and 1 tsp. salt to a boil.  Add the barley, reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes until the barley is done.  If there is still liquid left when the barley is finished cooking, you can drain it in a strainer.  Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients to make the vinaigrette.
Add the barley and corn to a large bowl, and pour the vinaigrette on top.  Toss to combine, taste for seasoning and serve at room temperature.

3 thoughts on “Healthy Summer Salads

  1. Pingback: Yogurt Carbonara for One, for Two « a glass of milk

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