Meatless Monday – Saint Patrick’s Day Barley Salad

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Barley’s is best known for producing single malt Whisky but these chewy and nutty gems are also a healthful grain that’ll boost and maintain your energy for the upcoming Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. This cold salad uses the protein-packed and fiber-filled grain along with orange apricots and green herbs to honor the colors of the Irish flag and get you ready for this weekend’s festivities, that may or may not include Whisky.

Saint Patrick’s Day Barley Salad

Ingredients
2½ cups water
1 cup barley
1 teaspoon salt, divided
½ cup chopped dried apricots
1 medium shallot, minced
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup minced parsley
½ cup minced basil
½ cup minced scallion
1 cup walnuts, toasted
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions
Bring the water, barley, and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil in a small sauce pot, set over medium-high heat; stir the barley then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook the barley for 45 minutes then let the barley stand for an additional 5 minutes off the heat. Alternatively, you can use quick cook barley and reduce the water by ½ cup and steam the barley for 10 minutes before letting it sit for 5 minutes.

Transfer the barley to a large bowl or spread it on a sheet pan and allow it to cool completely in a refrigerator.

In a large bowl, combine the chopped apricots, minced shallot, canola oil, cider vinegar, honey, parsley, basil, scallion, toasted walnuts, black pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Stir the chilled barley into the herb dressing and allow the salad to marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to overnight before serving.

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