Brown Rice & Barley Salad

Let me first start off by saying that when I brought dinner to the table tonight (and by table I mean sitting at the coffee table on the floor watching the news) my boyfriend, much to his satisfaction said “I love your new hobby!” Well babe, there is plenty more where that comes from.

I found this recipe doing the laundry. Wait, let me clarify further. While doing laundry in the basement of our apartment building (that’s right we don’t have in-suite laundry, and also something I dream of daily), there was a massive stack of Cooking Light Magazines from a few years ago. A magazine I also started subscribing to last December and LOVE. Anyways, I have been in my glory going through them finding new recipes to add to my “To Make” list.  And this is one of them. Basically chosen because its chilled and I’m trying to persuade summer to come a little bit quicker.

Brown Rice & Barley Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light, January/February 2008

1/2 cup brown rice cooked according to directions (I used chicken stock instead of water)
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
1 1/2 cup chicken stock (more than this if used for cooking the rice as well)
3/4 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup raisins (called for golden raisins, I used dark raisins) – Is there a name for those?
1/4 cup celery
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
2 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted

Cook the barley with 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock (It took about 3o mins). Depending on the cook time for the rice you use, time them so they are both finished at about the same time. Mine cooks in just 10 minutes so I started it 15 minutes after the barley was cooking. When both are ready, spoon the barley and rice into a medium bowl. Add the chickpeas, raisins, and celery. Next, using a whisk, combine the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir into the barley and rice mixture. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. When ready to serve add chopped basil and almonds.

Note: In the original recipe, 1 tsp of dijon mustard was added with the vinegar and olive oil. I didn’t have any, so didn’t use it. I also was a bit pinched for time so I put the bowl in the freezer and gave it a good stir every 10 minutes or so for an hour and it was fine.

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