kale-cranberry barley salad

This is a copy of something I've seen (but not eaten) in the Whole Foods salad bar. I went for a higher ratio of kale to barley, and I made sure not to overcook my kale (theirs looks pale sometimes.)

1-1.5 c pearled barley
1 bunch kale (lacinato)
1-2 onions
balsamic vinegar
4 oz dried cranberries
olive oil

Cook some pearled barley: I used between 1 and 1.5 cups of dry barley. Cook in 3x as much water: boil water in pot, add in barley, return to boil, cover and turn down to simmer. Official instructions I've read said 45 minutes' cooking time, but I let it go only about 30ish, and then turned off the flame and let it absorb some more water. There was still water left in the pot, but I figure that helped keep the grains separate and non-mushy.

Saute/almost-sort-of begin to caramelize an onion (I used 1 medium, I'd use two if I'd had more) that's been sliced thin - I did thing onion rings and then sliced into 2-3 cm long pieces. Remove onion to bowl.

Add slight bit oil in pot, add 1 bunch lacinato/dinosaur kale which has been washed, stems removed, and chopped into bite-sized pieces. Cook lightly, possibly add a bit of water and cover it. Really just go slightly beyond wilting it.

Add to that bowl with the sauteed onions: about 2 TBS balsamic vinegar (or more), 1 TBS olive oil, some salt, some pepper, some lemon juice (1/4 of a lemon?) Now add in kale, warm barley, and about 4 oz of dried sweetened cranberries. Stir, adjust spices. Consider adding a little white sugar if it needs it. Good cold.

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