It’s only July and already the CSA produce is getting ahead of me. Especially the kale.
Kale was always my nemesis, but over the years I have learned to coexist with… er, enjoy it. I have my usual recipes (our favorite is to sautee it with prosciutto, the lazy man’s bacon), but every so often you need to shake things up. Time for Barley, Cauliflower & Kale Tabbouleh. This version of the Middle Eastern classic is chewy, tasty and even healthier!
Right now, whole grain salads are seriously popular. And I didn’t realize how behind the times I was until I was assigned a carb side to bring to a party. With no recipes in hand, I went out and bought deli potato salad. Yup, food blogger fail.
This Barley, Cauliflower & Kale Tabbouleh salad, however, is more than a healthy side dish. With half of a cauliflower (to reduce the grain) and an entire bunch of kale (instead of the usual parsley), plus tomatoes and cucumber, it can make a real contribution to your vegetable intake–and a real dent in your CSA box. I selected barley as my grain instead of the traditional bulgur simply because I had it on hand. If you have a different favorite grain, feel free to substitute.
Do you count your vegetables? I just got a shock from the USDA chart below that suggests we need a daily 2 ½ cups of vegetables–which equates to (more or less) 5 servings each day (emphasis mine). While we have been counting our “5 a day” for years, we were including fruit (2 fruits, 3 vegetables). I do remember when “5 fruit and vegetables a day” went up to 5 – 9. We just kind of looked the other way and figured five is in the range of 5-9. Per this chart, nu-uh.
So in honor of eating local (hooray to our farmers!) and of (gulp) 9 a day, here is a veggie laden “grain” side dish.
- • ½ cup barley (or other whole grain of your choice)
- • Water for cooking
- • ¼ teaspoon salt
- • ½ head white cauliflower
- • 1 bunch kale
- • 2 cloves garlic
- • 1/2 onion or 6-8 scallions, ideally red
- • 20-30 cherry tomatoes, halved or 2 roma tomatoes
- • 1/2 cucumber, thickly sliced
- • 2 tablespoons olive oil
- • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste
- • ¼ teaspoon salt
- • ½ teaspoon cumin (opt)
- • 1 teaspoon coriander (opt)
- Cover barley with about 2 cups of water and add ¼ teaspoon salt. Boil until tender, about a half hour.
- Break cauliflower into florets (you can use the stem too if you cut it up before processing) and put in a food processor. Strip the leafy part of the kale off the stems, slice the scallions and smash the garlic and add these to the food processor as well. Process until minced. The cauliflower should look like small grains and there should be no chunks of onion or kale. Place chopped vegetables into a large serving bowl.
- Put the tomatoes and cucumber into the food processor. Pulse a couple times until chunky. Break up any large piece by hand; you do not want these too fine. Drain if needed and add to serving bowl.
- Combine olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings and whisk until combined. Add to serving bowl and stir to mix in.
- When barley (or other grain) is tender, drain and run under cold water briefly to cool. Add to serving bowl and mix in.
- Serve chilled.