Chilled Steak and Barley Salad
This is a great salad for the day after an outdoor summer barbecue. Grilled pork, seafood, chicken, or vegetables are equally compatible with the sweet nutty flavor of barley.
- 2/3 cup pearl barley
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 cup sliced raw mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons finely diced sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch arugula, stems removed and rinsed
- 8 to 12 thin slices grilled steak
- Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add the barley and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, over low heat for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the barley is tender; drain thoroughly, then spread the barley in a thin layer to cool quickly.
- Combine the barley, tomato, cucumber, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl.
- Whisk together the oil, vinegar, tarragon, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the barley mixture and toss to coat evenly.
- Mound the arugula on a chilled platter or individual plates and top with the barley salad. Arrange the steak slices over the salad.
Ahead Of Time: The barley can be cooked and dressed up to a day in advance. Mix the cooked barley with the vinaigrette while it is still warm, cool to room temperature, cover tightly, and refrigerate. Let the barley mixture return to room temperature before serving.
Serving Suggestions: This is a substantial main-course salad; drink a rich amber ale or lager with