As summer winds down, it’s time to celebrate that most ubiquitous vegetable of the season: corn. This tasty grain is rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, phenolic acids, and anthocyanins that benefit human health. While consumption of processed corn products like high-fructose corn syrup has been linked to increased risk of various cancers, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, consumption of whole corn and other grains is believed to do quite the opposite.
This week’s recipe is a corn and barley salad. It was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She has been sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Initially let your food do the talking. You’ll be surprised how far you go in a short period of time.” Gordon Ramsay
Barley Corn Salad
Gourmet Magazine (August 1985)
- 1 cup barley (most of the barley found in the typical supermarket is pearl barley, which is fine in this recipe. Pearl barley has been polished or “pearled” to remove some or all of the outer bran layer along with the hull. However, the fiber in barley is distributed throughout the kernel, so it is actually less refined than other polished grains)
- 2 cups cooked fresh corn kernels cut from the cob, or a 10-ounce package frozen corn, thawed and drained (fresh corn is preferable)
- ½ cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped fine (you can substitute red bell pepper for the tomato to keep the salad crunchy, especially if made ahead)
- 1–2 4-inch fresh, green, hot chili peppers, seeded and minced (jalapeño or serrano work well)
- 2 garlic cloves, cooked in boiling water for 10 minutes, drained, and peeled (for efficiency, you can cook these with the barley)
- 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅓ cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- ¼ cup minced fresh coriander (aka cilantro), or to taste
- Sprinkle the barley into a large saucepan of boiling salted water, stirring, and boil it (skimming the froth) for 30 minutes, or until just tender. In a colander, drain the barley, rinse it under cold water, and let it drain until it is cool. Transfer the barley to a large bowl, add the corn, the scallions, the tomato (or red bell pepper), and the chili pepper, and toss the mixture well.
- In a blender or food processor, purée the garlic with the vinegar, the cumin, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, and blend the dressing until it is emulsified. Drizzle the salad with the dressing, sprinkle it with the fresh coriander, and salt and pepper to taste, and toss it well.
- The salad may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled, but do not add the fresh coriander until just before serving. Serve at room temperature.