Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Seasonal Salad

Searched for a recipe in SOAR (searchable online archive of recipes) for arugula, and the first one that came up sounded pretty darn good.

2/3 cup pearl barley
1 pound green beans -- trimmed
1 cup fresh corn kernels
4 ounces arugula
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
3 1/2 ounces soft fresh goat cheese -- crumbled

Cook barley in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 m inutes. Drain; cool. Transfer to large bowl. Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 min utes. Drain. Transfer beans to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well. Pat b eans dry with paper towels. Cut half of beans into 2-inch pieces. Transfer to bowl with barley. Mix in corn kernels. Coarsely chop 2 bunches arugula; add to bowl with barley mixture. Whisk olive oil, vinegar, shallots, thyme and Dijon mustard in small bowl to bl end. Pour enough dressing over barley mixture to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange remaining 2 bunches arugula around edge of large platter. Arrange rema ining whole beans in spoke pattern atop arugula. Mound salad in center of plat ter. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Drizzle any remainingdressing over arugula and beans and serve.

OK, I cheated. I used canned whole-kernel corn instead of fresh, and frozen green beans (grown in our garden last year) instead of fresh. I used 1/3 of a whole onion instead of shallots, and used my food processor to blend the dressing. I did have the fresh thyme. Remember, I planted it in between my cole crops, (the mystery plants turned out to be kohlrabi, never have grown it before, heck, I've never even eaten it before!) Just had to dodge the sprinkler to go get the thyme... And I used semi-soft Manchego cheese for the goat cheese because that is what I had in the bottom of the refrigerator.

Rest of the menu is baked pork chops and baked potatoes. Going to have to eat outside because it's too hot in the kitchen! Add a glass of chardonnay and everything will be fine.

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