Barley and Fennel Salad with Reduced Clementine Vinaigrette
 
 
To make this salad vegan, omit the feta and add cooked chickpeas.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad, Vegetarian
Ingredients
  • About 1 cup (large handful) Hulled Barley, soaked in cool water overnight
  • 2 Oranges
  • 2 bulbs fresh Fennel, stalks intact
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper, as needed
  • 1 block Feta, goat’s and/or sheep’s milk variety (check ingredients label)
  • Handful Hazelnuts, toasted then coarsely chopped
  • Reduced Clementine Vinaigrette:
  • Juice of 4 clementines, reduced (instructions above)
  • Juice from the leftover interiors and membranes of segmented Oranges (see above)
  • Squeeze of Lemon Juice
  • 1 Medjool Date, pitted
  • 4 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook the barley: Drain the barley of its soaking water and rinse well under cool water. We’ll cook the barley like pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. You’ll want enough water to cover the barley by a few good inches…you can always top up with hot water during the cooking time (a kettle is great for this). Transfer the barley to the pot, add a large pinch of salt and continue boiling for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 40 minutes, taste a few grains of barley. They should be tender but not mush. If they put up too much resistance (you’re chewing on it more than seems right) continue boiling the barley and tasting after every 5-10 minutes until it’s tender. Once you’re there, drain the barley and set aside in a large bowl to cool slightly before assembling the salad.
  2. Prep the oranges: For the cleanest pieces, segment the oranges following this technique. Reserve the juice that falls out during the segmenting process for use in the vinaigrette. The interiors and membranes will hold a lot of juice, squeeze this out and reserve as well.
  3. Prep the fennel: Cut the stalks off the fennel, then cut the bottom of the fennel off, just slightly above the base of the bulb. If the outer sheaths of the fennel look ragged, remove these and discard. Lay the fennel bulb on its most stable side and cut into thin slices. If you have a mandolin slicer, this is the perfect time to put it to use to attain thin shavings of fennel. Otherwise, a sharp knife will work just fine. Before discarding the stalks, snip off then coarsely chop a few of the fennel fronds.
  4. To make the vinaigrette, combine the juices and date together in a blender. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Add a good pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Use immediately, or store in an enclosed container up to 5 days in the fridge.
  5. Assemble the salad: Mix together the barley, orange segments, sliced fennel, chopped fennel fronds and vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Crumble the feta cheese and toss into the salad. If the serving time isn’t far away, stir in the hazelnuts as well. Otherwise, leave them on the side to add just before serving so they don’t soften in the salad. This is best eaten within 2 days. Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge.
Recipe by Marci Cornett at http://marcicornett.com/recipe-barley-fennel-salad-reduced-clementine-vinaigrette/