We sure like to get our farmer’s market on. Summer has the best of everything, especially out here in California: stone fruits galore (peaches, cherries, plums, nectarines, pluots, apricots), berries of all kinds, fresh figs, sweet beets, chard, fennel, corn. One of the (many) nice things about Californy is that the growing seasons are so long – which means summer produce sticks around long enough to really go hog wild. It makes it extremely easy to get spoiled – which is good because we like being spoiled. Ms. ChinaNob agrees.
This salad is a perfect summer salad for fresh finds from the farmer’s market – light, sweet, tangy and with enough salty savoriness to make you feel full on a salad alone. Which is what you want for summer – a meal that won’t weigh you down. For the feta cheese, we used a Bulgarian sheep feta that was on sale for a really affordable price – it was quite tangy and briny – a perfect match to the sweetness of the roasted golden beets and the tang of the lemon dressing.
1 cup dry pearl barley
4 medium beets, tops removed
1 bunch white or rainbow chard, washed
3 Tbs. lemon juice, divided
1/2 large red onion (about 1 cup), minced & soaked in cold water 30 min.
4 oz. feta, crumbled
4-5 scallions, sliced into fine rounds
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
extra sliced scallions for garnish
Heat the oven to 450F.
Boil 3 cups water. Add the barley and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook until barley is al dente, about 30 minutes. Drain, return to pan, & cover with dish towel.
Wrap beets in tin foil and roast in the oven until fork tender–30 – 45 minutes. Peel and dice the beets into 1-inch cubes.
While beets roast, strip leaves from chard and chiffonade into long ribbons. Cut the stems into bite-sized pieces.
Heat 1 tsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté chard stems until translucent around the edges. Add chard leaves, half of the lemon juice (1 1/2 Tbs), and a healthy pinch of salt. Cover and cook the chard until bright green and wilted, stirring occasionally (about 8 minutes). If pan gets dry, add some water to keep it steaming.
Drain the red onion. Combine barley, beets, chard, red onion, feta, and scallions in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together remaining lemon juice and 2 Tbs olive oil. Drizzle over the salad and stir to coat. Salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with scallions.
Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.