Monday, April 18, 2011

Lemony Barley Salad

After making homemade ricotta, we were left with a lot of whey.  It seemed so wasteful to throw it all away.  Unfortunately I have no desire to dehydrate the whey and then throw the powder into super-protein shakes, and I do not have any farm animals to feed the nutritious whey to (much to my dismay).
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. 
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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.
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The brightness of the lemon zest really complements the tanginess of the warm grain salad.
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Lemony Barley Salad

  • 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
Combine the barley and whey (or water) in a saucepan and simmer for 40 minutes, or until barley is tender.
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.
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  1. I've always wondered what to do with the whey from making ricotta. I usually just feed it to my dog!! I might try this with quinoa, I'm on a vegan/gluten-free detox for the month and am finding myself feeling a lot less bloated. I do miss my cheese though, especially my ricotta & honey on toast for breakfast! Love the new blog I've transfered over from Cooking Pretty!;D

  2. You are so resourceful Sarah!

  3. Looks delicious! Whey is a great source of minerals and digestive bacteria. It is useful for fermenting veges and recipes like Kimchi, Sauerkraut or Beet Kvass (a fermented drink made from beetroot).

  4. Healthy salad you have shared, Thank you

  5. Hi,

    Excellent article, thanks for share this great post with us, I love this kind of topics are really interesting, health is really important, we have to be careful to obtain a healthy life and this way enjoy everything everyday with our family or people around.

    Best regards,


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