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
dried apricots, chopped
medium red onion, finely diced
fresh mint, chopped
fresh tarragon, chopped
aioli (I had some leftover but you can use mayonnaise)
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.