summer barley salad

… And you thought this was going to be a post about that beautiful European vacation we went on. I promised it was coming weeks ago, and here I am with a salad recipe. A salad recipe?!? They went to Paris, and all I got was this lousy salad recipe. Etc, etc.

Someone should really inform her editor.

Her editor says it’s actually a pretty damn good salad. Seasonal ingredients, fun and colorful. Let’s run it.


Other things are happening around here. Things of the non-salad persuasion. For example:

Realizing I’d ripped a sizable hole in the crotch of my Madewell skinnies tonight while walking the dog. I felt quite the draft. The question becomes, did I rip them earlier today only to notice hours later, or did they rip while I was trying to prevent Willow from eating the mystery food someone spilled in the elevator?

Reading David Bayles and Ted Orland’s book Art and Fear, and feeling just ever so slightly better at my ongoing attempts at writing, ceramics, textiles, photography, cooking. “This is a book about making art. Ordinary art. Ordinary art means something like: all art not made by Mozart. After all, art is rarely made by Mozart-like people; essentially—statistically speaking—there aren’t any people like that.”

Listening to This America Life’s ‘The Problem We All Live With‘. We have so much work to do. A must listen, like most things that are tough to hear.

Looking forward to the weekend and the marriage of two of our dearest friends. Two people who we’ve seen grow from AP-class-obsessed skater kids into smart, generous, fascinating gems of human beings who’ll still skate a parking lot, though maybe skip ollie-ing the six stair. Nick and Dena, we love you. Congratulations!


Summer Barley Salad
2 cups barley, cooked according to the package directions and drained
2 – 4 oz of feta, cut into cubes
1 medium zucchini, cut into batons
1 – 2 bell peppers, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced
a handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced or 2 tomatoes, diced
2 handfuls of arugula, mixed greens or spinach
a handful of parsley, chopped
a handful of cilantro, chopped
2 scallions, sliced thinly
a small handful of pistachios
2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 garlic cloves, grated
1/4 – 1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to boil to cook the barley. Cook the barley according to the package directions. We like Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Barley – it saves a lot of time. Once the barley is cooked through, drain it and rinse with cold water.

Slice up all of your veggies. You want everything to be bite-sized, but you don’t need to take it too seriously. Cut up the zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, bell peppers. Slice up the scallions and herbs. Assort the greens, herbs, and veggies in a large bowl or platter, except the zucchini. You need to cook that one.

Grill or sauté the zucchini, a few minutes per side and add to your salad platter.

In a small bowl, combine the zest and juice of one lemon, one grated clove of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, some salt and pepper, and several good glugs of olive oil. Toss with the drained and cooled barley. Taste for seasoning and add a bit more salt if needed.

Cube the feta and add that to the platter. Pour the the barley into the center of your ring of veggies and top with a sprinkle of pistachios. Drizzle the veggies with a little extra olive oil and another lemons worth of juice.

To serve, toss everything together and plate or eat it straight from the platter.



By The Answer is Always Pork

Cooking and Eating in San Francisco

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