Sunday, January 04, 2015

Only 167 days until summer!

Tonight, we had a little taste of summer in the dead of winter: Teriyaki pork steaks (broiled in the oven instead of grilled) and a healthful, tasty salad of barley, chickpeas, sugar snap peas, and sunflower seeds, with fresh dill, little nuggets of tangy goat cheese, and a spiced vinaigrette. DELISH, and by itself, it would make a perfectly hearty lunch or vegetarian entree in the warmer months. If you don't have barley, you can use farro, quinoa, or even brown rice. I also chose to swap out sugar snap peas for green beans and goat cheese for the feta, and I added a few cloves of minced garlic, because it seemed wrong not to. So go crazy and have fun with it!

Chickpea, Barley, and Feta Salad
(Source: Bon Appetit)
Serves 4

8 oz. green beans, halved crosswise (I used 12 oz. of frozen sugar snap peas steamed in the microwave)
kosher salt
1 cup pearled, hulled, or hull-less barley
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
4 oz. feta, crumbled (I used little bits of goat cheese to garnish each serving instead)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, optional

Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about three minutes. Using a sieve or a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water. Return water to a boil, add barley, and simmer until tender (refer to packaging for timing); drain. Let cool on a baking sheet.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook sunflower seeds, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; let cool. Toss green beans, barley, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, feta, dill, lemon juice, garlic (if using), and toasted spice vinaigrette (recipe follows) in a large bowl.

Toasted Spice Vinaigrette
(Source: Bon Appetit)
Makes about 1/3 cup

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toast coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing, until fragrant, about three minutes. Let cool, then chop. Whisk with oil, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Do Ahead: Vinaigrette can be made four days ahead. Cover and chill.

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