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Fruited Grain Salad

Pearl Barley in Fruited Grain Salad

Fruited Grain Salad is a simple tasty salad that keeps very well and is great to have on hand for lunches and snacks.

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked wheat berries
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1 cup uncooked short grain brown rice
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cup packed golden raisins
3/4 cup packed freshly minced chives or finely minced scallions
6 to 7 large freshly minced mint leaves, or 1 to 2 teaspoons dried mint
4 or 5 ripe firm small red plums, sliced
1 or 2 tart green apples, sliced (optional use in addition to, or instead of, the plums)

Directions

Soak the wheat berries for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse the barley several times in cold water, until the water in which it is rinsed looks clear. Put the barley and 2-1/2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.

Place the rice and 1-3/4 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and simmer about 35 minutes, or until tender.

Drain the wheat berries and place in a saucepan with 2-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until tender, about 1 to 1-1/4 hours. Check the water level and add just a little extra if it seems dry.

When all the grains are cooked, combine them in a large bowl. Stir to let excess steam escape. Add the remaining ingredients except the plums and/or apples. Cover and chill well before serving. This will keep up to 3 days. Add the plum and/or apple slices, and mix them in gently just before serving.

Nutrition Information

Recipe makes 10 servings.
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 260; Total Fat: 1.2g; Saturated Fat: 0.1g; Cholesterol: 0mg

Noteable Notes

Each grain - barley, whole wheat berries, brown rice - has its own distinct personality, especially if you take the slight trouble to cook each of them correctly. The addition of golden raisins, chives, mint, and plums (and/or apples) makes this salad taste both exotic and yet homey and familiar. Do try to find fresh mint for this salad. It's an important component, and dried mint is not quite the same thing.

The grains need to cook separately. You can cook them in advance and store them in tightly covered containers until you are ready to make the salad. You can also prepare the salad a night or two before you plan to serve it. (Add everything except the fresh fruit, which should go in shortly before serving.) It takes very little work. Most of the preparation time is for cooking the grains, so you can easily make it during an evening when you are home doing other things.

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