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Barley Salad with Peppers, Beans…& Everything Else

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At 8:30pm on Saturday 28 March people around the world will unite and switch off their lights for one hour – The Earth Hour, for our Earth, our Home. In 2009, Earth Hour will take place in more than 80 countries around the world. 1,672 cities, towns and municipalities in 80 countries have already committed to VOTE EARTH for Earth Hour 2009, as part of the worlds first global election between Earth and global warming.”.. Read More…

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All you need to do to participate & reduce some carbon footprint is to switch off the lights for an hour on the 28th March, 2009. During this time, have some quality time with your family & friends.. without the blast of the TV & Music. Free yourself from all the other electrical gadgets that rule our life. It’s our Home! Come join us for Earth Hour 2009, turn off your lights at 8.30pm Saturday 28 March and sign-up here at earthhour.org.

From Earthhour.org.. Here are 10 different ways spend the Earth Hour:

1. Attend a local Earth Hour event or organise your own by throwing an Earth Hour street party with your neighbours
2. Gather family & friends for a night picnic in your local park and look at the stars
3. Enjoy a family dinner by candlelight
4. Organise a treasure hunt in the dark
5. Take the dog for a night walk
6. Have a candle-lit bath
7. Sit in the dark and share stories
8. Organise a family night playing board games
9. Share a romantic night in with your loved one
10. Upload your ‘on the night’ photos and videos to flickr and YouTube respectively, and then add them to the
Earth Hour flickr group and the global YouTube Group.

Now that the weather has pleasantly warmed up.. we have started taking our dinner out to the backyard. It’s a lovely way to spend some cozy time with my family, to hear the birds, feel the breeze & probably star gaze, which we all love to do.  Given it does not rain, we will go out in the backyard, light a candle & have this simple but healthy & fulfilling salad. This is a no frill recipe, with lots of fresh ingredients  & very quick & easy to prepare. This does not need to be reheated, for this can be served cold or at room temperature.

Sending this recipe to Anna at Morsels & Musings for the EARTH HOUR event. She wants us to cook a recipe which can be enjoyed at candle light, & that has “a low carbon footprint (ie made from locally sourced ingredients and minimal packaging).”

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This is a salad. So please add whatever you want in this. You do not have to follow what I did. Change the ingredients to match your mood or season.

Ingredients:

  1. 3/4 Cup Uncooked Barley ( I got the Pearl Barley)
  2. 2 Bell Peppers/Capsicum ( any kind or color)
  3. 2 Carrots, cut into thin strips or made into ribbons with the peeler
  4. 1.5 Cups Thickly Sliced/or halved  Button Mushrooms
  5. 2 Cups Cooked Small Red Beans (Or any other kind of bean you would prefer)
  6. 1/4 Cup Sweetened Dried Cranberries
  7. 1/2 Cup Lightly Toasted Walnuts (Or any other nut you would want to use)
  8. 2 Tomatoes Chopped
  9. 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil – coarsely chopped or torn

For dressing:

  1. 4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  2. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  3. Sea Salt
  4. Red Pepper Flakes
  5. 1 Teaspoon of Minced Garlic
  6. Juice of Half Lemon
  7. 2 Tablespoons of Fresh Basil (chopped really fine)
  8. 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar.. ( I used Raspberry Hazelnut dressing which I had at home)

Preparation:

Soak the beans overnight if you are not using cans. Cook till tender. I pressure cook all my beans. It is indeed the fastest way to cook them. Set aside.

Soak the barley for a few hours. Drain & cook in boiling water till done. Drain & Set aside.

Whisk all the ingredients of the dressing together.  Set aside.

Cut the bell peppers/capsicum in to halves, drizzle some oil & roast them in the oven for abour 20 minutes, till the skin is charred on the outside. Alternatively, put them on a skillet skin side down & roast them at high heat.  I usually find this quicker. Peel the blackened skin & cut the peppers into thin strips.

Slice the mushrooms. Add some of the dressing to the mushrooms & let it sit for about 15 minutes.

Combine the barley, beans,  mushrooms & all the other ingredients & give it a gentle toss.

Add the dressing to the above salad & toss.

Cover & keep for atleast half hour for all the flavors to merge. Serve at room temperature or cold if you like.

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I love quick & light one pot meals like this. They are full of fresh seasonal vegetables & fruits, no hassle cook, takes minimal time & the ingredients can be changed as required. It’s also a great dish for outdoor parties & picnics !

Related Posts:
Potato Salad with Herbs & Tomatoes – A “Fresh Moroccan” Taste
Avocado & Roasted Corn Salsa
Chickpea Salad with Roasted Tomatoes


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