This recipe brought more than a few surprises in addition to the beet greens discovery, all of them good.
- Grains first: You smoke the barley – indoors! On the stovetop! Much easier than it sounds.
- Veggies and fruit together. This happens all the time: spinach salad with strawberries; anything green with a tomato on top. Yet it’s a tiny bit edgy when we’re talking beets and grapefruit.
- Do-ahead: The recipe offered no make-ahead guidance, but I found it easy enough to prepare everything the day before, refrigerate as separate elements, and assemble the salad shortly before serving.
Continue reading for the recipe, photos, and a really cool song that is a pun-tastic pairing for this tasty salad.
|Printable Recipe- Smoked Barley, Beet & Grapefruit Salad|
|File Size:||642 kb|
Recipe Source: Ann Taylor Pittman via Cooking Light Magazine
Cook’s notes provided by Ann Johnson
Note: Using whole grain barley makes a big difference in taste, texture and health benefits. Look for hulled barley, not the more commonly-found pearled barley. I finally found it at Whole Foods in the bulk section.
- Cooking spray
- ½ cup cherry or apple wood chips
- 2 cups cooked whole-grain hulled barley (about 2/3 cup uncooked grains)
- NOTE: Here’s a simple recipe for cooking barley, with variances for whole-grain vs pearled barley.
- 6 medium beets with greens
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 4 teaspoons honey
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large pink or ruby red grapefruits, peeled and sectioned
- Pierce 10 holes on one side of the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch disposable aluminum foil pan.
- NOTE: I recommend using a larger pan in order to spread out the barley for even smoking.
- Coat pan with cooking spray.
- Arrange wood chips over holes in pan. Spread barley on opposite side of pan.
- Place hole side of pan over stovetop burner. When wood chips start to smoke, carefully cover pan with foil. Turn burner to medium-high; smoke 2-3 minutes.
- NOTE: Be sure to set your vent on high and/or open a window or two. The smoke will be intense for a few minutes.
- Carefully uncover. Spoon barley into a colander. Rinse and drain barley under cold water; drain well.
- NOTE: I like to help the barley (or other grains like rice) dry out by a placing a double-layer of paper towels on a baking sheet, then spreading the barley on top. Let air dry.
- ALSO NOTE: I recommend doing the barley process the day before, giving the smoky smell a chance to dissipate.
- Trim beets, reserving greens.
- Wash beet greens, then remove tough stems. Tear the greens to equal 6 cups, dry very well in a salad spinner or with towels, and set aside.
- NOTE: I did this step the day before.
- Scrub beets clean but don’t peel. Wrap 3 beets together in a large piece of microwave-safe parchment paper; make another packet with remaining 3 beets. Microwave packets together at HIGH for 8-9 minutes or until tender; unwrap and cool slightly.
- NOTE: The packets will leak and leave blood red liquid on your microwave carousel; good idea to use a plate underneath or just be prepared.
- Remove skins from beets; cut each beet into 8 wedges. Place beet wedges in a small bowl.
- NOTE: I microwaved and peeled the beets the day before, keeping them intact overnight. About 2 hours before serving, I cut the beets into wedges and added the vinaigrette, as will be described in a later step.)
OFFICIAL RECIPE SAYS: Combine oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle 1 tablespoon vinaigrette over beet wedges; toss to coat. Add barley and beet greens to bowl with remaining vinaigrette. Toss gently to coat. Arrange barley mixture in a serving bowl; top with beets and grapefruit sections.
ANN’S NOTE: The official version works well when you’re making the salad to serve immediately. I wanted to make ahead one day and serve the next, doing nothing but assembling the ingredients at the last minute.