I finally decided to try cooking a grain – barley – in the whey. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Whey is a clear yellowish liquid by-product from cheese making with a tart and tangy taste. When you cook barley in it, then add lemon juice and zest plus a few southwestern ingredients, you get a really delicious warm grain salad.
I finely chopped about 1/2 small head of red cabbage. I love red cabbage because of its bright color, and the crunchiness of it was perfect with this grain based salad.
The brightness of the lemon zest really complements the tanginess of the warm grain salad.
Lemony Barley Salad
Combine the barley and whey (or water) in a saucepan and simmer for 40 minutes, or until barley is tender.
- 1 cup dry barley
- 2 cups whey (or water if you haven’t recently made ricotta at home!)
- 1 lemon, zest removed
- 1/2 red cabbage
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 c. queso fresco
- drizzle olive oil
Zest the lemon, reserve zest. Drizzle the juice of the lemon over the warm barley.
Finely chop 1/2 small head of red cabbage and 1/2 bunch cilantro. Crumble the 1/2 c queso fresco cheese. Toss the lemony barley together with the vegetables and cheese, add the lemon zest during the tossing, then drizzle with olive oil to taste.