Posts tagged ‘grains & rice’
If it wasn’t obvious already, I sort of fell out of the habit of blogging. Work got busy, I got married…I could blame those things, but basically I just stopped doing it! I don’t feel guilty about it (though I do miss it!), nor will I make any specific promises as to my renewed commitment to blogging regularly or anything. All I really know at this point is that I still cook, I still like to preserve a record of recipes we’ve tried and enjoyed, and I felt like blogging about this recipe.
We’re always on the lookout for good lunch salads, particularly ones with a nice balance of greens and grains as well as some tasty mix-ins. When I came across the idea of this salad on Serious Eats, I couldn’t help but lust after the concept, though we made a couple little changes in the execution. We’ve been pleased enough with the result that it’s joined our repertoire!
I hope you will forgive me for going a little Korean crazy these last two weeks. It really would’ve been better to spread the Korean kitchen firsts out a little more over the course of the year, but you see last week I was inspired by the desire to make a tasty burger and the newfound love of gochujang sauce, and then I went to Portland and got an awesome new Korean cookbook at Powell’s and I just couldn’t resist making both the Kimchi Fried Rice and the Cucumber Kimchi right away! Please indulge me, or better yet, jump on board and get some more Korean food into your life!
I had actually planned on cooking something else for this week’s kitchen first, but this dish arose out of one of those quintessential “uuggh what are we going to have for dinner tonight?” moments when you have a seemingly weird collection of leftover ingredients and don’t know what to do with them. As it turned out, our little experiment mixing barley with cauliflower, pancetta, mushrooms, and parmesan turned out really well. It was as simple to throw together as a pasta dish, but the barley’s soft yet crunchy texture gave it a surprising new dimension, and the combination of mushrooms, pancetta, and cauliflower complemented the flavor of the barley very well.
Using pearl barley for a kitchen first struck me as a little boring at first, especially because until this point my only experience with barley has been in soups. While barley is certainly pleasant enough in that context, it’s nothing to write home about. But I assure you that if you take some of these nutty little nuggets out of the soup pot, and serve them up with mushrooms, onions, garlic, pancetta, and cheese, it becomes the complete opposite of boring.