As you have likely noticed, I like main course salads. They can be made in advance, and usually get better a day later.
This was my first time cooking barley. I thought it would be with the grains like rice and couscous in the market, and had nearly given up hope and gone to Whole Foods, where you can always find everything, when I found it with dried beans. So if you want to make this and can't find barley, check with the beans.
Peach Cucumber Barley Salad
slightly modified from Good Housekeeping
1 cup pearl barley
2 cups water, vegetable broth, or a combination (I just used water)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 Tablespoons vinegar (cider or red wine)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Place dry barley in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, until toasted.
Stir in water/broth and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 35 minutes. Allow to cool.
Chop cucumber, peaches, tomatoes and basil.
In a large bowl, mix oil, vinegar and salt and pepper. Add in barley and chickpeas, mix in vegetables.
Serve over lettuce.
Of course I'm thinking of what cheese would be a good addition. I have a serious problem. I'm thinking mozzarella or goat. We'll see tomorrow.