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Author Notes: I had a bunch of leftover pearl barley from winter soup making, but it being June in Southern CA, the last thing I wanted was something hearty. I came up with this salad as a light and refreshing side to lamb. —russeaime
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 3 cups water
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 English cucumber
- 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon aioli (I had some leftover but you can use mayonnaise)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash barley if dirty. Place in a pot with 3 cups water, thyme, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat. Let simmer for 45 mins or until soft, but still chewy. Drain excess water and let cool.
- Quarter cucumber and slice thinly. Place in a large bowl with the diced apricots, walnuts, and red onion. Add the barley once cooled.
- To make the dressing, mix the mint, tarragon, lemon and salt together. Add the buttermilk and aioli (or mayonnaise). Blend thoroughly together (I like to use a small jam jar and shake until fully blended). It should be smooth with no lumps. Add pepper and more salt to taste.
- Mix dressing with barley and other ingredients. Serve at room temperature.