Barley,Cherry & Tarragon Salad

Bust out your human beat box, get a groove on and check out these sick lines I made up about my salad

"Serve it warm, serve it cold, serve it fresh, serve it old."

Not too old. No more than six days. Still that's a smokin' rhyme. Look out Snoop D-O double G.

This recipe makes a lot. Eat some warm the day you make it then have the leftovers cold with a sandwich. We macerate the cherries with the herbs and some smoky sherry while we simmer the whole grain. Barley has a nice toothy feel that complements the fresh cherries. You can easily add some beans, edamame or wilted sharp greens to this. My friend's garden has a great strong mesculin mix that would make a nice addition. Maybe when he goes to work I can sneak over and "borrow" some, for research.

Don't be afraid of all these ingredients, most are hanging around your kitchen. At least they are in my kitchen.

  • 2 cups barley simmered until desired doneness
  • 2 cups cherries pits removed and halved
  • 2 cucumbers peeled seeded and diced small
  • 1 good glug of olive oil or grapeseed oil if you have any
  • 1 big shallot fine dice
  • 1 clove garlic germ removed and smashed
  • 1/4 cup good sherry or smokey single malt whiskey
  • juice from a 1/4 of a lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh tarragon
  • 2 Tablespoon parsley or chives chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 6 good grinds of fresh black pepper
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 oz goat cheese, optional, no skip that, mandatory

While the barley is simmering mix everything but the goat cheese and cucumber in a steel bowl large enough to hold all the cooked barley. It will triple in size.

Toss cooked barley with cherries. Add the diced cucumber. Taste. Add the goat cheese and taste again. Season.

Cherries are very photogenic. This is our dinner version as a side dish with grilled chicken and baby carrots. I used toasted pistachios for some crunch on the plate. And to show off that I have pistachios.