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Black Nile Barley Summer Salad Recipe

This has got to be one of the simplest recipes you can make. It makes a wonderful side dish served hot or cold, or prepare it in advance and take it on your next picnic as a health and tasty alternative to potato salad. Also perfect as leftovers, as the flavors blend so nicely after it sits in the fridge overnight. In fact, this recipes is so good the next day, I always make the full recipe no matter how many I am serving - just so I can have leftovers. I took it to a potluck picnic the other day, and it was a big hit.

A bright and delicious salad using this most ancient of grains - black nile barley.

Ingredients:
1 pound organic wholegrain black nile barley
6 cups water
2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons red wine or Gravenstein Apple Cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Basil olive oil
2 garlic cloves - minced
sea salt and black pepper to taste

2 ripe tomatoes - seeded and diced
1 cucumber - seeded and diced
1 each yellow and orange bell pepper - seeded and diced
6-8 stems of fresh mint leaves - rolled and cut into ribbons
1/2 pound fresh feta cheese - diced
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Place barley in a cooking pot, cover with cold water, and add salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then turn heat down to low and let barely simmer for 40-50 minutes. If you like your barley chewy (like me), than 40 minutes should do. If you like it softer, then simmer an extra 5-10 minutes.

2. Drain barley and let cool while our finish preparing your veggies.

3. Add vegetables and cheese and toss well.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a small frying pan. Add minced garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Long enough to bring out the garlic flavor, but don't to brown the garlic.

5. Remove oil and garlic from heat and place in small mixing bowl. Add remaining basil oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk well, and pour over barley. Toss together and either serve immediately, or place salad covered in the fridge over night and serve cold.



serves 10-12
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