Cucumber,dandelion and barley salad w/ Ume shiso dressing

By • June 11, 2010 9 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe came to me when i was trying to figure out a hearty salad dish to cater for both vegetarians and nonvegetarians. I love Shiso, which is a japanese herb, people call it 'japanese basil', even though i think it tastes and smells completely different.Growing up, I was fortunate to have shiso leaves growing wild in our yard. It will always remind of summer. Ume is japanese salted/preserved plum that is amazingly tart and makes your mouth water. i was at whole foods a few months ago and saw dandelion leaves which i hadn't eaten since i was a little kid. I bought it and threw it into the mix and ended up loving the combination. This salad dish is perfect for a summer day. I suggest pairing it with grilled shrimp to make this meal complete!Lei

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Serves 6

'for the salad'- english cucumbers, dandelion leaves, daikon radish, pearl barley, grape tomatoes

  • 2 english cucumbers
  • 1 Daikon radish
  • 1 bunch Dandelion leaves
  • 1 cup pearl barley (uncooked)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes

'for the dressing'

  • 3 tablespoons mirin (japanese cooking wine)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (unsweetened)
  • 2 teaspoons umeboshi plum vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch shiso leaves
  • 3 tablespoons umeboshi plum paste
  1. in a pot, pour 3 cups of water and 1 cup of barley. bring to a boil. reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 45 minutes.
  2. cut the cucumbers in cubes and add into a big bowl.
  3. peel the skin of the daikon radish and cut into cubes. add into the bowl with cucumbers
  4. cut the grape tomatoes in halves and add to the bowl with cucumbers and daikon.
  5. cut the stems off the dandelion leaves and roughly chop the leaves into smaller pieces. add into the bowl with the rest of the vegetables
  6. after the barley is cooked, wait about 15 minutes to cool, then add the barley to the bowl of vegetables
  7. take the shiso leaves and roughly chop them. set aside in a separate bowl.
  8. add all the 'dressing ingredients' into the bowl with the shiso leaves. use a hand blender to blend all the ingredients (if you dont own a hand blender, a regular blender is also fine to use).
  9. pour the dressing over the salad and toss to make sure the salad is coated all around. plate and serve!

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