Toasted Barley and Charred Tomato Salad with lemon, balsamic vinaigrette

Toasted Barley and Charred Tomato Salad with lemon, balsamic vinaigrette
Serves 4 / Ready in – 30 mins
1⁄2 cup barley (quinoa or rice for gluten free)
2 cups sweet cherry tomatoes
5 cups mixed greens (spinach, arugula, little gems, field greens) 1⁄4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1⁄4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Juice and zest of a small lemon
1 farm egg at room temperature (or protein of choice)
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of chili flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a sauce pot or cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Add your barley / grain of choice and stir keeping the grains moving over the dry heat of the pan for 3 – 5 minutes. When the grain becomes golden brown and you can smell it toasting turn the heat down and add water just half an inch over the top. It will splatter from the heat so have a lid ready to cover it. Cook
*Here is a fast and easy way to boost flavor to your grains. Toast them. Just by throwing a
handful of your favorite grains into a dry sauce pot and giving them a swirl and shake around a
hot surface will give them a deep, nutty flavor. You can do it with any grain and I especially love
toasting rice till it’s a golden brown before cooking it. For the recipe below, barley or faro is
lovely in this salad as it adds texture and flavor.

Cook until al dente (test to make sure it’s almost tender). Drain off any excess water and set aside to cool.

Place cherry tomatoes on a flat baking sheet and toss with a little olive oil. Don’t salt them as this will draw out liquid and they will become mushy. Broil on high keeping an eye on them and giving them a shake or two to rotate them. You want them to be charred and just bursting. Remove from broiler and let cool.

In a large salad bowl, combine the salad greens, pumpkin seeds, red onion and barley. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice and zest. Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a small skillet on low and add a little olive oil. Crack the egg into the skillet carefully so it keeps form. Don’t heat the pan too hot. If you hear a sizzle, turn the heat down. The egg will cook faster and more evenly at a lower temp. I like to flavor up my eggs, so I sprinkle them with a little smoked paprika, chili flakes with salt and pepper.

Toss the salad with the balsamic, lemon vinaigrette and place in desired serving bowl. Sprinkle the charred tomatoes over the top and finish with the pan-fried farm egg.

from Justine of Jusinte’s Private Cuisine

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