Especially in summer, treating your refrigerator like a salad bar -- with ingredients precooked, if not prepped -- takes the pressure (and heat) off. If you cook pots of grains and beans on the weekends, such as barley and chickpeas, and have lots of condiments and raw veggies around, you can make a hearty, one-bowl meal like this one in a flash.
Make Ahead: The barley can be cooked, cooled and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 6 months.
- 3/4 cup cooked and cooled pearled barley (see NOTE)
- 1/2 cup cooked and cooled chickpeas, drained, or no-salt-added canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup fresh or frozen peas, defrosted if frozen
- 1/4 cup sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
- 1 small carrot, halved lengthwise, then cut into thin half-moons
- 1 scallion, white and light-green parts, cut into thin slices
- 1/2 small cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut into thin half-moons
- 2 tablespoons cilantro or mint leaves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger (from a 1-inch piece of peeled ginger root)
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped
Toss together the barley, chickpeas, peas, sugar snap peas, carrot, scallion, cucumber, cilantro or mint, and ginger in a medium bowl. Drizzle the oil and vinegar over the mixture, and toss to combine; taste, and add salt if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl, top with the peanuts and eat.
NOTE: Pearled barley cooks more quickly than other types of barley. Bring three parts water and one part barley to a boil in a saucepan, reduce the heat, cover and cook until the barley is tender and has absorbed almost all of the liquid, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
From Cooking for One columnist Joe Yonan, based on a recipe in "Bean by Bean," by Crescent Dragonwagon (Workman, 2012).
Tested by Randy Richter.
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