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How to Make a Blue Ribbon Barley Salad

Posted: 08/01/2013 8:50 am

When you make a grain salad, you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve.

We make and eat a lot of grain salads in the summer, from farro & frisée salad to tabbouleh. With a grain as their base, these salads hit a perfect balance between being light and leaving you totally satisfied. To make a grain salad outstanding, you've got to have texture, you've got to have punch, and you've got to have a well-seasoned dressing.

To make this barley number, we chose four gorgeous vegetables to start: wax beans, healthful yellow beets, a big red onion, and the infamous burpless cucumber (really, that's what it's called). We took those ingredients, prepped and trimmed them, and then threw them into a big mixing bowl with barley -- a nutrient-rich, quick-cooking grain that adds chewiness and heft to the salad.

After we dress the salad and arrange the pretty yellow beets on top, we add the final touch: shavings of pecorino cheese. Pecorino Romano adds nuttiness and an extra point of umami to the crunchy, crispy cucumbers and summery wax beans. Along with a good pinch of salt, the cheese helps to season the dressing and bring all the flavors together.

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