Monday, March 1, 2010

Warm Barley Salad with Red Cabbage and Feta

Do you have a stack of food magazines sitting on your coffee table?  I certainly do.  I receive Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking, Cooks Illustrated, and until it became defunct Gourmet in the mail every month.  I also pick up other magazines from the newsstand, so  I have quite a magazine collection.  I usually flip through a magazine when I receive it, but then it waits until I have some time before I can flip through it again to find interesting recipes.  If the stack grows too big, I sometimes lose hope and give the magazines away. 

I would like to get more out of these magazines (other than a bigger recycling pile), so I've decided to try and make at least one recipe from each of the magazines that come into my home.  Sounds like a New Year’s resolution doesn’t it?  Can I call it a New Year’s resolution if I start in March?  I don’t know.  Call it what you may, I am resolved!

The first recipe from my new resolution is from Food & Wine, and I decided to try it because it falls in with another resolution to add more healthy grains to my family’s diet.  I served Warm Barley Salad with Red Cabbage and Feta as a main dish salad, and it was great, but it would also be good with some grilled chicken breast or pork tenderloin.  The barley has an amazing flavor. My husband and I enjoyed the salad with the cabbage, walnuts and feta. The salad is both beautiful and tasty with the sweet and sour cabbage and the flavorful barley.  My kids didn’t enjoy this salad as much as my husband and I did, but they enjoyed the barley by itself.

Warm Barley Salad with Red Cabbage and Feta
Adapted from Food & Wine
For the Barley
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups pearled barley
1 small onion, finely diced
2 thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups water

For the Salad
2 cups cooked barley
1 cup walnuts, toasted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely diced
½ large red cabbage, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
½ cup water

Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Add the barley and cook over moderate heat until lightly toasted, stirring often.  Add the onion and thyme and cook over low heat until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the water and salt and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook over very low heat until the water is absorbed and the barley is tender, about 25-35 minutes.  Fluff the barley with a fork and discard the thyme sprigs.   You will need 2 cups for the salad.  Freeze the rest for another use (check out the Grain Salad with Apples, Pomegranate Seeds and Pine Nut Salad in Food and Wine)

In a large skillet, melt the butter and oil.  Add the onion and cook over high heat until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the cabbage and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the cabbage is barely wilted, about 6 minutes.  Add the thyme and the water, cover and cook until the cabbage is tender and the water has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Stir in the barley, feta and toasted walnuts, and serve.  Makes 8 servings.


  1. this look so good! I think I might try lentils instead of barley for gluten reasons though...

  2. Hi Happy Yolks, Food & Wine has a couple different grain choices for this recipe, but the only one that is non-gluten is brown rice, so I think lentils would work great for a non-gluten choice. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Cabbage is a vegetable which is composed of water but contain potassium, magnesium and vitamins that help our body. Many people like to prepare salad or another kind of recipe. You mus to approach all the propeties this vegetable.

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  4. No feta listed in recipe.



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