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Baby Kale Salad with Barley, Avocado, Goat Cheese and Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

028 A Baby Kale Salad Barley Avocado Goat Cheese Honey Lemon Vinaigrette.JPG
028 A Baby Kale Salad Barley Avocado Goat Cheese Honey Lemon Vinaigrette.JPG

Baby Kale Salad with Barley, Avocado, Goat Cheese and Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

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I love a good salad but to be honest, they can get a little boring. Well, they did until I started adding grains to them! This recipe includes barley that not only gives it a nice texture, it almost permeates a wonderful nuttiness.  And when summer rounds the corner, I love tossing fresh peaches on top to finish. However you like your salads, consider adding barley to your repertoire.

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

Oven: N/A

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

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Barley: see kitchen note

3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock, homemade if possible

1 cup uncooked pearl barley – see kitchen note

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup lemon juice, juice from approximately 2 lemons

1 tablespoon honey or agave

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

as needed, kosher salt

as needed, freshly ground black pepper

Salad:

5 cups (approximately 1, 5-ounce container) baby kale, washed, dried, left whole

2 avocados, cut in half, pit removed, cut into 1/2-inch thick cubes

1/4 red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch thick half moons

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Method:

To prepare the barley:

1.     In a medium size saucepan over medium – high heat, add stock. Bring to a boil then add barley. Cover, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, or until cooked.

2.     Drain excess liquid and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a wide bowl or plate to quickly cool at room temperature. To expedite this process, place the bowl or plate in the refrigerator away from dairy and raw meat.

To prepare the vinaigrette:

3.     In a medium size bowl, add lemon juice, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Set to the side.

To prepare the salad:

4.     In a large serving bowl, add baby kale, goat cheese and avocado. Toss lightly with chilled barley and prepared vinaigrette.

 

Kitchen Note: Barley needs time to chill before tossing with the kale – to prevent the kale from wilting – so take cooking and chilling time into consideration.  Make sure you use pearl barley as hulled barley typically takes longer to cook and may need more liquid. When in season, try adding fresh peaches for a delicious bit of sweetness. Alternatively, baby arugula can be used in place of baby kale.