Barley is one of those grains that I never think about but love to eat if it’s on a menu. Pair it with beets and arugula and you have a healthy dish that tastes delicious.
Two bunches beets – one gold, one red
1 ½ cups pearl barley
2 cups chopped arugula (plus more for platter)
1 cup goat or feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted
¾ cup olive oil – or combo walnut and olive oils
¼ cup balsamic
2 cloves garlic, minced
- Roast the beets: Scrub beets and trim stems to ½ inch. Place in baking dish with a little water on the bottom. Cover with foil. Roast in 375 oven for 40-55 minutes, depending on size of beets. To test doneness: insert tip of paring knife into flesh. It should pierce easily, but not be too mushy.
- Cook barley: Bring 4 cups water to boil in large saucepan and add barley. When it returns to a boil, reduce heat and cover, stirring occasionally, until barley is both chewy and tender and water is absorbed, about 35-40 minutes. Take off heat, remove cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork.
- Make vinaigrette: Whisk all ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Toast nuts in 325 oven for 8-10 minutes until golden.
Toss beets with 2-3 tablespoons vinaigrette. In separate bowl, toss barleywith arugula, adding most of the remaining vinaigrette to taste. (Reserve some vinaigrette for drizzling.)
Line platter with reserved arugula leaves, mound barley on top, with a well in the center. Nestle beets into well, then sprinkle cheese and nuts over. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.
Serve to friends and family.