Nutty, toasted barley pairs perfectly with bright, fresh oranges and sweet dried cherries. Boil barley as you would pasta and drain it. Whisk a simple orange-sherry vinegar vinaigrette, and you’ll have a salad perfect for a light lunch or a healthful accompaniment to roast chicken or fish. To segment oranges, use a serrated knife to remove the rind and white pith all over. Holding the orange in one hand, cut down between the membranes to release the segments and put them into a bowl. Squeeze the membranes to remove any remaining juice.
|1||cup pearled barley|
|¾||cup chopped pecans|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|3||tablespoons olive oil|
|¼||cup orange juice|
|1||tablespoon sherry vinegar|
|2||navel oranges, cut into segments|
|1||blood orange, cut into segments|
|½||cup dried cherries|
|2||scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced|
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand 2 rimmed baking sheets.
2. On 1 baking sheet, spread out the barley. Transfer to the oven and toast for 15 minutes. On the other baking sheet, spread out the pecans. Toast them for 5 minutes.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the barley, and let the water bubble gently for 20 minutes or until the barley is tender. Drain into a colander and, without rinsing, transfer to a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir well.
4. In another bowl, whisk together orange juice, sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.
5. Add the navel and blood orange segments to the barley with the cherries, scallions, and pecans. Toss well. Add the vinaigrette and toss again. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper, if you like.
Karoline Boehm Goodnick