I started using groats for salads not long ago. In Russia we eat our grains, mostly, very plain – with some salt and butter. Or in soups. Most popular – grechka (buckwheat, kasha), less – perlovka (pearl barley).
For most people (especially men) barley means tasteless army or pioneer camp food (it has nickname: “shrapnel”), as well as canned semi-meat food “Tourist’s breakfast”. The problem is in the special rules – the groats should be soaked for a long time (at least 12 hours) and had a long cooking (about 1-2 hours) – that usually omitted, and barley became very hard to chew.
Today, for fast meals I use quick cooking barley and rice cooker. Always great result.
Yield: 1 serving
1 cup cooked quick cooking barley or pearl barley, cooled*
1 apricot, chopped
1 Persian cucumber, chopped
1-2 tbsp. pepper relish or roasted peppers
2 tbsp. crumbled goat cheese or feta
salt and pepper to taste
* mix 2/3 cup water and 1/3 cup quick cooking barley in rice cooker and press start.
Mix all ingredients in bowl, add salt and pepper to taste, add splash of lemon juice if needed.
1 serving is about 310 calories.