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Beet and Barley Salad with Toasted Walnuts

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Grain salads such as this one are perfect for combing vegetables with something other than rice, bread, or potatoes

Grain salads such as this one are perfect for combing vegetables with something other than rice, bread, or potatoes. The beets provide loads of vitamin C and beta-carotene and add a wonderful colourful element to any meal. Serve this salad on some kale or any large leafy green.

1 cup (250 ml) pearl barley
1 tsp (5 ml) sea salt
8 small beets
1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp (15 ml) Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp (1 ml) each salt and pepper
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
1/4 cup (60 ml) cold pressed walnut oil
1 cup (250 ml) chopped fresh walnuts, toasted
6 cups torn arugula, asian salad mix, or mixed salad greens

Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Add 1 tsp sea salt and barley. Place lid on pot, reduce heat to low and leave to cook for 40 min.

Wash and scrub beets and slice or dice them in 1/4 inch slices or 1 cm cubes.

Place beets to cook in a steamer over boiling water, for around 20 minutes, until they are tender. Test they are firm but soft with a sharp knife.

Whisk together the vinegar, garlic, mustard and salt and pepper in small bowl.

Gradually whisk in olive oil and walnut oil.

Add 1/4 cup of dressing to warm beets, toss and let cool.

When barley is soft, remove it from heat, rinse with cold water, and drain. Fluff with a fork and toss in remaining dressing.

Add walnuts and greens to the barley. Spread on a large serving platter.

Top the barley with the beets and drizzle with any remaining dressing. Serves eight.

Source: alive #257, March 2004

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