This first time I made this salad was when my friend Joanna came for a visit. She’s a vegetarian who eats slices of green pepper like apples and taught herself to love tomatoes. We loved this salad!
Here we are after we met while working at a summer camp [that’s our friend Bri in the middle there], taking a hike, winter visiting, and so on! We both stood up in each other’s weddings! Joanna lives in Seattle now but I think of her every time I make this salad.
If you’re looking for a pretty hearty delicious salad, this is it! It’s a perfect meal for a picnic, BBQ, simple lunch or dinner and really fills you up.
2 cups pearl barley, cooked [Could substitute rice for GF option]
1 cup black beans, cooked
1 cup whole kernel corn
3/4 cup red pepper, chopped
2/3 cup sweet potato, cubed and boiled in water until tender
1/2 cup onion, minced
1 carrot, minced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 Tbs butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/8 cup soy sauce [use a GF soy sauce alternative if needed]
2 Tbs fresh basil, snipped
2 tsp mustard
1 tsp parsley
Ground black pepper, to taste
Sauté minced carrots and onions in butter. In large bowl mix barley, beans, corn, peppers, sweet potato, and celery. Stir in carrots and onions.
In a small bowl whisk olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, basil, mustard, parsley, and ground black pepper. Pour dressing over salad ingredients and incorporate gently.
Place salad in fridge for several hours or overnight for best flavor. Can be topped with sliced cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese before serving.
**Variation: I’m sure any mixture of veggies would be nice in this salad. Cucumbers, sautéed summer squash, lots of tomatoes, pickled green beans, etc. Mix it up! Throw some mozzarella cheese balls or seared chicken or steak into it. Whatever you like!