A hearty, wholegrain filled salad to add to your lunchtime roster. This easy vegetarian salad will become a fast favourite in your house!
I have no idea what to write about today, so I’m just going to give you a brain dump of the things I was thinking about while making this salad, which you should totally make while thinking about the random list of things that you have going on in your life. It’s a good distracted cooking dish. The barley takes care of itself and everything else is just window dressing that gets mixed through right at the end.
Firstly, I was thinking that I am a boring TV watcher. I will happily watch re-runs of my favourite shows over and over. I have no urge to fix this, it was merely an observation because at the time I was finishing up my third watch through of Frasier in its entirety. Although I have been thinking about watching GLOW on Netflix, any thoughts?
Secondly, I was thinking that it’s only eight weeks until my wedding and I am finally getting really really excited about everything. I have my bridal shower on Sunday and my hen’s weekend coming up in a few weeks and things are starting to get real. It took me a while to get excited about all the pageantry surrounding weddings, but I think I’m finally there (in my own way of course). One of the keys to my excitement has been thinking about all the effort my Mum, sister and bridesmaids have put into making this time special for me. I appreciate all their amazing efforts (seriously, wait until you see bridal shower photos…these ladies are crazy).
Thirdly (apparently I can have multiple conversations going at once with my self) I was thinking about our mini honeymoon in Melbourne. We are taking a few days off to go to Melbourne after the wedding and leaving our actual honeymoon until February. Chris has never been to Melbourne and I can’t wait to introduce him to one of my favourite cities. If you have any Melbourne Eats that we can’t miss please let me know in the comments!
And then, I was thinking about this salad while I was eating it. The barley is chewy, hearty, wholesome. It has a subtle hay smell, and it makes me think about all the awesome fibre that I am putting into my body (#dietitianthoughts). Barley is a great change up to the usual brown rice if you want to widen the variety of grains you eat. If you are a coeliac or eat a gluten free diet please note that barley is NOT gluten free, so stick to brown rice or quinoa for this salad. The broccoli is only blanched for a minute so it retains a subtle crunch and bright green verdancy, and the cannellini beans add buttery protein and soak up the lemon and olive oil dressing. Top it off with crunchy toasted almond slivers and salty feta and this salad has all the makings of a new lunchtime classic. It also holds up in the fridge really well for a few days, so make it for lunches, or make it ahead for a side dish or BBQ/potluck situation. You can’t go wrong with this hearty vegetarian salad!
Just a reminder: my aim with 5 Ingredient Friday is to give you meals that:
- Use 5 ingredients
- Take 30 minutes or under
- Deliver on taste and satisfaction!
My only assumptions for 5 Ingredient Fridays are that you usually have on hand some sort of oil/fat; salt and pepper; water; and garlic and onion <- these are my ‘free ingredients’ that I can use outside my key five ingredients. If you make one of my 5 Ingredient Friday meals share a photo on Instagram and tag me @thoroughly_nourished_life and use the hashtag #5IngredientFriday. I’d love to see if you whip these up!
Broccoli and Barley Salad
Vegetarian | serves 3-4 | leftovers keep well in an airtight container for up to three days
Make it Gluten Free: instead of barley use brown rice, cook according to packet instructions.
Make it Vegan: leave out the feta cheese, or substitute with your favourite non-dairy “cheese”
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 3 cups water
- 1 large head broccoli
- 400 gram tin cannellini beans
- 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 100 grams Greek Feta, crumbled
For the dressing
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Rinse your barley thoroughly and drain. Add to a medium size saucepan with the three cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for thirty to thirty five minutes. Stir occasionally so that the grains don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Test a few pieces at thirty minutes to see if they are pleasantly chewy, or whether they need the extra five minutes.
- Once the barley is cooked, drain any remaining water and place in a large bowl to cool to room temperature.
- While the barley is cooling, cut the head of broccoli into small florets (you can also finely slice the stalk and add this to the salad too if you’d like – it’s so fresh!). Place in a medium size microwave safe container with about 1 cm (1/2 inch) of water in the bottom. Microwave for one minute, then drain very well and add to cooled barley.
- Drain and rinse cannellini beans and add to bowl with barley and broccoli.
- Top with toasted slivered almonds and crumbled feta.
- Combine dressing ingredients and add to salad. Toss everything thoroughly and serve.