My salad today is an ode to that flavor combination: onions and rosemary. Or, I should say, more of a riff of that combo. I sub green onions for white, add juicy roasted grapes, and stir it all up with some cooked barley.
I find that rosemary is a highly underutilized herb. Usually it's left to dally with some roasted potatoes, or incorporated into a jar of herbes de provence. People tend to shelve it into its few staple uses and forget about it, you know? (Or at least, I know I do). It is a strong herb, for sure, which is understandably why people may be hesitant to fiddle about with it, but I say let's play around! Unleash the rosemary! Throw it in savory pancakes, breads, mix it with tropical fruits- get wild! (Here I go, off on another crazy ingredient rant, the boyfriend would say). Hopefully I will be bringing you more fun rosemary dishes in the future :)
This is an extremely simple and satisfying recipe. Per usual, to make a meal, try adding in a 1/2 cup of your favorite legume to your bowl. Cannellini beans, lima beans, or chickpeas would be scrumptious.
Rosemary and Roasted Grape Barley Salad
To my dear coworker, Yiwen
- 1 lb red or black grapes, washed
- 1.5 cups dry barley (see note)
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary (or 2 tsp dried), divided
- 3 tbsp walnut or olive oil, divided (see note)
- 9 green onions, cut into 1" pieces
- 4-5 cups fresh spinach
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 1/4 tsp salt, divided
- pepper, to taste
- Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. De-stem the grapes. Place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 3/4 tsp salt. Bake for 2 hours.
- Combine barley, 1 tbsp rosemary, 1.5 tsp salt, and 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30 mins, or until tender.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet and add the green onions and remaining rosemary. Sautee for 5 mins, or until the green onions are tender. Add in the spinach and sautee until wilted.
- Pour the barley, green onion mixture, and grapes in a large bowl and mix together. Stir in vinegar and remaining 2 tbsp of oil. Add pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or cold.
Notes: 1) I used pearl barley, but for an even more nutritious punch, try hulled barley. You can find it in the bulk bins at Whole Foods or online. Hulled barley is considered a whole grain, as its bran and endosperm layers are left intact. 2) I used 2 tbsp walnut oil for a toasty flavor and some omega-3s, and 1 tbsp olive oil, but feel free to use all of one.