Grilled Corn & Barley Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette

By • August 4, 2011 • 11 Comments



Author Notes: Being a Jersey girl, this salad showcases two of my favorite local ingredients, corn and tomatoes. This salad is best at the peak of summer when corn is most sweet, fresh, and juicy. Its light, crisp flavor makes a delicious side dish when served with grilled meats, or it can also stand alone as a light lunch.Jen Balletto

Food52 Review: WHO: Jen Balleto is a Food52er from New Jersey who loves to cook with her local ingredients.
WHAT: A hearty, bright salad that boasts the best of the season.
HOW: Charred corn is combined with barley, beans, tomatoes, and herbs, then tossed with a tomato vinaigrette.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This salad would make a fantastic brown bag lunch or a picnic side dish; it holds together beautifully. We love how the tomato is grated in order to make the vinaigrette -- since the size of the tomato isn't specified, use one to taste.
A&M

Makes 4 servings

  • 1/2 cup dried pearl barley
  • 3 ears of corn (shucked)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup cooked cannellini beans
  • 1 vine ripened tomato
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup basil cut into ribbons
  • 1 bunch of chives, thinly sliced
  • ¼ - ½ cup(s) olive oil
  1. Boil barley according to package directions, using a large stock pot. Par boil corn for 5-6 minutes with the barley to impart some of the corn flavor directly into the barley.
  2. Remove corn. Brush corn with olive oil and grill on all sides until charred gill marks appear.
  3. Meanwhile, halve all of the tomatoes and prep beans (rinse and drain if using canned, prepare in advanced if using dried).
  4. Cut kernels off the corn. Merrill was kind enough to share a video on the subject http://www.food52.com/blog/2259_how_to_dekernel_corn. As you cut, collect any of the “milk” that comes from the cutting process, then use the back of the knife to scrape the remaining “milk” from the cleaned cob. The juicier your corn, the better!
  5. Next, cut the large tomato in half and grate with a box grater over a dish or wide bowl, discarding the skins, but collecting the juice and pulp.
  6. Paste the garlic clove by mincing the garlic, and then adding some salt and rubbing the mixture between your cutting board and the side of your chef’s knife. Add that paste into the tomato mixture. Add a pinch of salt, crushed red pepper to taste, vinegar, and corn milk. Always crush dried herbs in the palm of your hand before adding to release the oils…releasing oils = releasing flavor! Whisk in olive oil slowly. Your goal here is to create an emulsion. This should yield at least a ½ c. of vinaigrette. If you plan on making ahead, make ¼ c. of extra vinaigrette to freshen before serving. Reserve your vinaigrette.
  7. Combine barley, tomatoes, corn, beans and fresh herbs in a large bowl and dress with your tomato vinaigrette. Toss to combine.
  8. Finish with a drizzle of your best fruity, delicious, olive oil.

Tags: corn, easily doubled, grilled, Healthy, Summer, travels well, Vegetarian

Comments (11) Questions (1)

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23 days ago Linda O'Neill

This sounds great and I imagine farro could be substituted for the barley ? Seems like a pretty flexible salad for all sorts of summer ingredients

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about 1 month ago BavarianCook

So delicious! I had just checked my fridge this morning, and found a leftover grilled ear of corn, debated whether to keep or toss it, and boy was I glad I kept it! I added some extra barley and cannellini beans to make up for the smaller amount of corn, and used heirloom mini tomatoes. For the vinaigrette I used some leftover cloves of roasted garlic. This was delicious with grilled meat! Thank you!

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5 months ago lizabeth

Congrats, Jen - this salad is wonderful! A bit of a pain to make, but so worth it! I made it exactly as instructed with the exception of the fresh basil - I don't care for basil so I left it out. My husband loved the salad, too. I had a difficult time trying to make a paste of the garlic and salt, so after I had all the ingredients together I put the dressing in the blender and it was so much better after I blended it. It was the most beautiful bright gold color because I used an orange heirloom tomato to grate for the dressing. My husband noted that the salad tasted better the next day and I would imagine that is because the barley has had time to soak up the flavor of the dressing. So, it's a great make-ahead salad, too! Thanks so much.

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almost 2 years ago Mise en Place

Very good! The Basil ties it together. I used half the barley and more tomatos. To each his own. Thanks!

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almost 2 years ago Ascender

Lovely recipe! The cannellini beans and barley provide all the amino acids to make a complete protein, so this can be the main dish in a light vegan meal. I added arugula to bulk up the salad and introduce a bitter note that balanced the sweetness of corn and grape tomatoes.

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almost 2 years ago Jen Balletto

I'll have to try the arugula. That sounds like a great addition.

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almost 2 years ago lastnightsdinner

This sounds wonderful - I love summer salads like this. Congrats on the wildcard win!

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almost 2 years ago healthierkitchen

Mmmmm. I love the combinaiton of flavors!

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almost 2 years ago Midge

Congrats! Can't wait to try this.

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almost 2 years ago Jen Balletto

Thanks very much! I hope you enjoy.

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almost 3 years ago Trillinchick

This looks tasty, although a little heavy on the starches. Why barley AND beans with the con? Thank you thank you for no cilantro! It tastes like I would imagine a mixture of dish soap and desert brush. When will the fad/love affair with cantor end? Where's my soapbox. Oops, i'm standing on it! ;-)