May 17, 2010

Bacony Barley Salad with Avocado

Bacony Barley Salad with Avocado

This salad is amazing. I'm not just saying that either. After I made this the first time it went immediately into normal rotation. I have very few recipes that are in my normal rotation (I try out a lot of new recipes). This is one of my very favorites and definitely my favorite barley recipe. I serve it with pita bread.


3 strips bacon, chopped

1 1/3 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup quick-cooking barley (I USE REGULAR BARLEY)

1 pound peeled shrimp, tails removed, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup lime juice

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (I use whatever tomatoes strike my fancy)

1/2 cup finely diced red onion (I use way more than that—I love red onions)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 avocado, peeled and diced (I use two avocadoes and serve them separately so they don’t mush if there are leftovers)


Cook bacon in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until crispy, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel; discard fat.

Add water and salt to the pan and bring to a boil. Add barley and return to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. (Or 35 minutes or so if you are using regular pearl barley (which I recommend because it is healthier.))

Combine shrimp and lime juice in a large bowl. Add the cooked barley; toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the barley to absorb some of the lime juice. Add tomatoes, onion, cilantro and the bacon; toss to coat. Add oil and pepper and toss again. Stir in avocado and serve.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare without avocado, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Stir in the avocado just before serving.


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