Barley Salad…A Perfect Picnic Salad

May – one of my favorite months – no obligations, the weather is still nice, and Cinco de Mayo – all good!  Speaking of, May 5th is Ina Garden’s PBJ Bars day!  Bake a batch and join our blog hop with your delicious results.  The recipe will be posted by Yummychunklet on Thursday, or you can find the recipe here.  Let me just tell you that I baked a batch and brought them to work on Monday, and I was declared Queen for the rest of the day.  Now, I think it was because the bars are just scrumptiously delicious, and not because I’d been out since Wednesday, and they were just happy to see me. 
Speaking of absences, perhaps you noticed that I was conspicuously absent last week.  On the spur of the moment, I took Andrew on a mini-vacation to the beach.  He was out for spring break, and plans for his care had fallen through, so as I was taking time off from work to be at home with him, I figured, “why not spend that time at the beach?”  So, we did, and it was lovely!  Peaceful, no crowds, beautiful weather, and great shells on the beach.   I packed a few simple essentials for our meals and brought along a most delicious and easy barley salad which kept well for the 2.5 hour trip.  The recipe is from my friend Melinda, a wonderful cook and all-around great gal.  What I love about salads such as this is you can be as creative with the ingredients as you like.  Fresh squash from the garden?  Toss it in!  Love celery?  Add it!  Peppers?  Absolutely!  And, since there’s no mayo, so it’s great for outdoor meals.  Enjoy!

Perfect Picnic Salad Printable recipe

1 ½ cups pearl barley
1-2 large cucumbers, diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup parsley, minced
2-3 tablespoons mint, minced

Dressing

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic, grated or finely minced
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Cook barley according to package directions.
While barley cooks, prepare dressing by mixing dressing ingredients together; immediately after draining cooked barley, pour on dressing, stir, and set aside.
Add cucumbers, green onions, tomatoes,diced onion, parsley, and mint to barley.  Allow to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.

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