A bit of cooked Barley was the “by-product” of my Healthy Lemon Ginger Barley Water recipe awhile back. Well, if you know me, you know I try to waste nothing, and sure didn’t want to waste a morsel of wonderful, chewy, nutty Barley. (I love it, and so should you, btw! It’s really good for you!) And so I went on a quest and that quest ended in this Salad with Smoky Sheet Tray Roasted Vegetables & Barley. It’s a lot to use a cup of Barley, huh?!
And, whew, what a name, huh? Salad with Smoky Sheet Tray Roasted Vegetables & Barley! Too late to change, I labeled my photos, so it’s staying! But the cool thing about this salad? The basic salad is so versatile. It can be made with just about any roasted veggies, any greens, and any grain and a wide variety of cheese. Think of this recipe like a blueprint and plug in your components. Then you couldn’t call it Salad with Smoky Sheet Tray Roasted Vegetables & Barley, though!! You’ll have to come up with your own name. 🙂
About Salad with Smoky Sheet Tray Roasted Vegetables & Barley:
Barley is kind of a magic grain. The measly little 1/3 of a cup I used in my Barley Water ended up being a good cup (and even a bit more) of cooked Barley. Barley really is a super healthy grain that just doesn’t get the attention it deserves. But like most people, I don’t use it enough and had to go searching for a recipe.
That led me to the Smoky Sheet Tray Roasted Vegetables from the Sunset Cookbook, via the Washington Post. I posted that recipe, as I made it. Let me tell you, that recipe is one way you’ll get just about anyone to eat their veggies! They are truly outstanding, and so simple, too. So I made those; it’s a large recipe and meant to be a “make ahead” recipe to be divided up and used in different recipes or broken down and frozen for later. (It would be just as good at Thanksgiving or any big dinner party).
One of the recipes was this Salad. I was taken aback at first by all the different components of the salad. Until I ate it! In my mind this cried out for Southwest flavors or maybe Spanish flavors, but instead, all kinds of things were tossed in. Feta Cheese, kind of an Italian Vinaigrette, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Basil or Mint. I am so glad I ignored that voice in my head that usually guides me in the right direction.
Making Salad with Smoky Sheet Tray Roasted Vegetables & Barley:
Let’s talk about the components of this salad:
There’s the Smoky Sheet Tray Roasted Vegetables: They are simply outstanding, and I love the make ahead and divide component. But this salad will be fantastic with just about any roasted veggies.
Then we have the Barley, which is the grain I really wanted to use since I had it on hand. Honestly, if I didn’t have a use for it, I would have put it in a Ziploc and frozen it. That’s something I often do with longer cooking grains. Then a recipe that calls for them has them at the ready. Instant healthy convenience food. Think of quinoa or farro for this recipe, too. Maybe brown rice.
You can add a bean if you want to this salad. With the salad as shown, it would have been great with a white bean like cannellini. Other beans that are great choices for salads are Chickpeas, Pintos, Kidney, Black Beans, etc. I cook up a batch and divide and freeze in 1 1/2 cup quantities (about the size of a can). Canned beans work fine, though, too.
Then, you’ve got cheese. I used Feta. Goat cheese would be marvelous, too. In my mind (there’s that voice) this salad cries out for a white cheese. Maybe one of the Mexican cheeses like Queso Fresco or even a cottage cheese would work well depending on the grain or bean you choose. Buy Feta in the block for the greatest savings. If it isn’t in a brine, add a brine to it and it will keep a good six months. (See the bottom of This Post on how to.)
That brings us to the lettuce. I can see this salad with Romaine or Spinach, but I think it would be great with all or part arugula or maybe even a frisee lettuce. Wouldn’t that be marvelous with all the other components? The Romaine or Spinach is the bargain lettuce, here. And speaking of bargains, did you know the pre-bagged lettuce runs 4 to 10 times the amount more than the loose lettuces? NOT a bargain at all, even on sale. Check the price per pound.
Then the salad recipe got a little strange. The original called for slow roasted tomatoes. I have two recipes on my site, one for a Slow Roasted Tomato (It is utterly fantastic! They’re like candy!) and one for an Oven Dried Sun-Dried Tomato. (That’s good, too. Just more standard.) Honestly, I just bought sun-dried tomatoes and soaked them (and then I used the soaking liquid in my dressing. Bonus!) but if you grow your tomatoes or get a bunch at a great price, making them is really the way to go. You don’t have to add tomatoes. Maybe olives or nuts or just something special.
Then we come to the dressing for the salad: it’s olive oil and red wine or Sherry vinegar & a little salt & pepper. So simple. And so not what I thought would work, but it did, and it was delish! And I tossed in the soaking liquid from my sun-dried tomatoes in the dressing, too. If your tomatoes are packed in oil, you can add some of that oil to replace the olive oil. Now, a diligent couponer can pick up bottled dressings for pennies, but why? Olive oil is so good for you, I consider it as an investment in my long-term health.
Lastly, I added lemon. To echo the flavor of the barley that was cooked with lemon. I used to disregard garnishes like this – it always just seemed an extra expense. Now I shop carefully for them and think of them as being an integral part of my healthier living. Which isn’t to say that I’m always eating healthy, obvs. But I do try to balance things.
To Finish my post on Salad with Smoky Sheet Tray Roasted Vegetables & Barley:
So you can see how marvelous this mixed up crazy salad is, and there are lots of ways to nudge the flavors in one direction or another and many ways to play with your food. I’ll be making variations of this salad in the future, for sure. Somehow all those disparate flavors blended into one lovely taste explosion!
I know I went on a bit, so thanks for your patience and do try this Salad with Smoky Sheet Tray Roasted Vegetables & Barley. I think it’s a game changer!
Salad with Smoky Sheet Tray Roasted Vegetables & Barley
- 1 to 2 cups baby spinach or lettuce leaves
- 2 to 3 cups Smoky Roasted Vegetables (see related recipe)
- 1 cup cold cooked barley or other grain of choice
- 1 cup homemade or no-salt-added beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 to 4 ounces feta or other white cheese, crumbled
- 4 or 4 sun-dried or slow roasted tomatoes, cut in thin strips. If sun-dried, soak in a little very hot water for 20 to 30 minutes
- 2 tablespoons basil or mint leaves, rolled tightly then cut into thin slices (chiffonade)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
- Kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 lemon, in wedges
Combine the spinach or lettuce, Smoky Roasted Vegetables, barley or other grain, beans, feta or other white cheese, tomatoes on a large platter. Garnish with basil or mint. Mix together oil and vinegar aloong with salt and pepper (and soaking liquid from sun-dried tomatoes if desired). Pour over salad. Garnish with lelmon, if desired.
Feel free to use this recipe as a guide and substitute components at will Think about combining in a flavor profile. For example, it’s easy to mix and match the greens, grains, and beans in this salad: arugula, farro and white beans; mesclun, quinoa and edamame; romaine lettuce, brown rice and black-eyed peas.
from the kitchen of www.frugalhausfrau.com, adapted from the Washington Post
I’ll be sharing Salad with Smoky Sheet Tray Roasted Vegetables & Barley at Fiesta Friday 236, hosted this week by Julianna @ Foodie on Board and Debanita @ Canvassed Recipes. Stop by and take a peek at their sites. You’ll love Julianna’s food – everything she makes has a special touch that takes it over the top. I’ve only just begun exploring Debanita’s blog, but the scope of her recipes is outstanding! You never know what you’ll find.