Barley and Dandelion SaladOctober 19, 2015
This stunning salad was one of the recipes prepared in my recent “Eat Like a Pharaoh” class at the Natural History Museum in L.A. It is delicious and nutritious and most of it can be prepared in advance, making it great for a pot luck or dinner party. A class participant foresaw it revolutionizing his Thanksgiving dinner!
This salad gave me a new appreciation for barley, one of the first domesticated grains in the Fertile Crescent. Along with wheat, it was a staple cereal of ancient Egypt and was used to make loads of different kinds of bread and beer. Barley also figured prominently in Egyptian myths of resurrection. When the plant dies its seed goes dormant before sprouting up into a new plant, making it symbolic of the afterlife. Mummies were often buried with barley necklaces.
Throughout history, dandelions have been used to help cure various medical ailments and were reportedly used by the ancient Egyptians to treat kidney and stomach disorders. Because of their red seeds, pomegranate have long been a symbol of fertility across cultures and time periods.
1 cup barley
1 bunch dandelion leaves, stemmed and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup pistachios, chopped
pinch ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon zahtar
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
¼ cup fresh pomegranate
Cook the barley in salted water according to package directions. Drain and place in a serving bowl.
Add the chopped dandelion, raisins and the chopped pistachios to the barley and combine. Season with the cumin, cinnamon, zahtar, pomegranate molasses, honey, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with the pomegranate seeds before serving.