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Barley, Cucumber & Yogurt Salad

This salad comes from Turkey as is part of the first course, called meza. It is refreshing, healthy and delicious!

1 cup pearled barley (If time allows soak barley overnight in water) 

1 cucumber

 3 or 4 scallions, chopped 

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

1 cup Greek yogurt 

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

 2 tsp Aleppo chili 

1 tsp Greek oregano 

1 tsp sumac 

Freshly ground black pepper

 Lemon juice to taste 

1. Rinse the barley and put it in a saucepan with water to cover by at least 2 inches. Add a large pinch of salt and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender, about 20 minutes from the time the water boils. Drain and spread on a plate to cool (if you’re in a hurry, you can rinse under cold water for a minute or so).

2. Cut cucumber into bite-sized chunks. Optional: put cucumber in a colander or strainer, and sprinkle with about a tablespoon of salt. Let sit for 20 minutes or so, then rinse and drain well. 

3. Toss together the first 6 ingredients in a salad bowl. Whisk the next 3 ingredients. Toss this dressing with the cucumber mixture, then taste and adjust the seasoning adding lemon juice. Sprinkle extra sumac on top for color and taste.