Winter Barley Salad with Pine Nut Parmesan Dressing

This winter barley salad with pine nut parmesan salad is exactly what we need after a long holiday weekend.

Winter Barley Salad

Winter Barley Salad

If you’re like me, you absolutely hate to see holidays end. There is nothing better than relaxing with my family all weekend long cooking delicious food, and that is exactly what we did over this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving dinner went over smoothly, I made this leftover turkey soup on Friday, and by Saturday all of our Christmas decorations were up. Pretty successful weekend.

While I was ready to get back on track with some healthy dinners, I didn’t want the festivities to end! So, I spent Sunday creating some really delicious (mostly healthy, some decadent) recipes to enjoy all week long.

Winter Barley Salad

This winter barley salad turned out to be one of my favorite recipes I have created so far. I knew exactly how I wanted the dressing to turn out… creamy, cheesy, garlicky, and with a subtle pine nut flavor.

Once that was made (and it was absolutely perfect), I sort of threw everything else together on a whim, and it turned out SO well.

I’ve been eating this barley salad all week and just loving it. It’s extremely hearty, full of rich roasted vegetables, plus tangy pickled vegetables as well.

Definitely don’t be intimidated by the recipe, though. There are a lot of moving parts, but everything is really simple to do. Work through the recipe in the order I have listed and you should be good to go!

Also, I would absolutely recommend making the full recipe. You can cut it in half if you know you won’t be able to eat all of it over the next few days, but it makes such good leftovers (just heat it up slightly in the microwave) that you might as well make a lot to have on hand.

Or, it would be the perfect thing to serve at a holiday party. Yes!!

I hope you love it. Enjoy!

Winter Barley Salad with Pine Nut Parmesan Dressing
Serves 8
a hearty, warm winter barley salad with roasted & pickled vegetables and a pine nut parmesan dressing
  1. 2 cups pearl barley
  2. 6 cups water
  3. 2 tsp salt
Roasted Vegetables
  1. 2 small heads of radicchio
  2. 2 heads of endive
  3. 2 fennel bulbs
  4. olive oil, as needed
  5. salt, as needed
Pickled Vegetables
  1. ½ cup sugar
  2. ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 3 oz shaved celery
  5. 4 oz diced radish
Pine Nut Parmesan Dressing
  1. 2.5 oz chunk of parmesan, chopped
  2. 1.5 oz toasted pine nuts
  3. 2 cloves of garlic
  4. 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  5. 2 tbsp honey
  6. 1 cup safflower oil
  7. 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  8. 1 tbsp water
  9. 1 tsp salt
To Finish
  1. safflower oil, as needed
  2. 6 oz shiitake mushrooms, halved
  3. 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  4. 2 heads of frisee
  5. ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  6. parmesan, to garnish
  7. freshly cracked black pepper, as needed
  1. Combine the pearl barley, water, and salt in a heavy-bottom pot. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer on low for about 1 hour. Remove the lid, make sure the barley is tender, and drain any excess liquid, if needed. Keep the barley warm until ready to serve.
Roasted Vegetables
  1. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the radicchio in half, remove the core, and slice into ½” pieces. Trim and quarter the endive, lengthwise. Cut all of the quarters in half horizontally. Trim the fennel, remove the core, and slice into ¼” pieces. Combine all of the vegetables in a large baking dish. Coat them generously with olive oil and season with salt. Bake for about 40 minutes until tender and caramelized.
Pickled Vegetables
  1. While the vegetables roast, bring the sugar, apple cider vinegar, and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat. Place the shaved celery in a small bowl and the shaved radishes in another small bowl. Pour the pickling liquid over the vegetables in each bowl. Place a folded paper towel on top of the vegetables, pressing down to make sure they’re all submerged in the liquid. Let sit for about 30 minutes. Drain off the liquid (you can save this to pickle something else) and reserve the vegetables.
Pine Nut Parmesan Dressing
  1. While the vegetables pickle, combine the parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add in the sherry vinegar and honey. Blend until a paste forms. Slowly drizzle in the oils with the processor running, making sure to add them slowly and gradually. Blend in the water and the salt. Set aside.
To Finish
  1. Lastly, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add enough safflower oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is sizzling hot, add the mushrooms and fresh thyme. Saute the mushrooms for about 5 minutes until caramelized, lowering the heat as needed. Season with a pinch of salt. Discard the thyme.
  2. Trim the roots of the frisee and discard all of the dark green leaves. Tear the remaining leaves into smaller pieces. (You only want to serve the very light green/yellow leaves because the dark are very bitter.)
  3. In a very large mixing bowl, combine the warm barley, roasted vegetables, pickled vegetables, pine nut parmesan dressing, frisee leaves, and toasted pine nuts. Mix well until the dressing evenly coats all of the other ingredients. Taste the salad and season with more salt if needed. Plate the salad in a large bowl or on a platter. Shave some parmesan cheese over top, and finish with freshly cracked black pepper.
The Original Dish
Winter Barley Salad

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