Pear & Pecan Barley Salad

I am a big proponent of improvising. Without it, I have a feeling we would spend more time and money than we really want to on things that aren’t really necessary. For instance, maybe someday you stumble upon a recipe for Peach & Walnut Barley Salad and maybe it makes you drool all over your keyboard. Maybe you have a perfectly ripened Bartlett pear and a bag of pecans leftover from your last baking venture at home just begging to be eaten. Maybe you want to work out after work and don’t have time to seek out all the ingredients in this amazing recipe you found. Sometimes substitutions don’t work. This time, they did. Behold:

PEAR & PECAN BARLEY SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pecans, chopped
  • 1 pear, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup citrusy juice or nectar of some kind (I used Kern’s apricot nectar because that’s what was leftover from Sunday’s mimosas!)
  • 1/2 tsp chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat feta cheese

Directions:

  • Cook barley according to package directions, omitting salt.
  • Drain barley and toss with parsley, pecans, pear and pepper.
  • In a separate bowl, blend oil, lime juice, orange juice, chile powder and salt.
  • Pour over barley mixture and toss together.
  • Crumble feta over top and serve.

image

The original recipe doesn’t make any mention of refrigeration, but I am not into foods having weird, varied temperatures, so I put the drained barley into the fridge straight away, and did the same with the pear once it was cut up. It doesn’t take long for either of them to chill, so it worked out great to leave them in there while I prepared everything else. We couldn’t get enough of this salad! It’s delightfully refreshing as a side to black bean burgers on a hot day.

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