The combination of red pepper and corn equals summer to me. Something about the smooth versus crisp, yellow versus red, sweet and warm versus cool and starchy makes me nostalgic for grilled hamburgers, fire pits, late nights out in the yard and Sunday afternoon lazy get-togethers.
I had barley in my pantry and a hankering for summer, and this is what Google led me to. (Yes, I was inspired by a pregnancy website, but I am not at all pregnant!) I left out the tomatoes- they’ll have to wait until August. This will be even better with fresh sweet corn off the cob!
My favorite part of this recipe is the versatility. I scooped it up and inhaled it warm off the stove, picked at it while it was cooling on the counter, and ate it like unashamedly by the bowlful straight out of the fridge. Warm or cool, this salad is an easy crowd-pleaser.
Barley, corn, and roasted red pepper salad
adapted from What to Expect
*If you’re short on time, you can skip toasting the barley, but the toasting process does really add to the flavor and texture of the dish. Don’t skip if you can help it.
1 medium red bell pepper
1 c. pearl barley
2-1/2 c. chicken broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup sliced scallions or diced onion
2 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
First, roast the bell pepper. Using fire-proof tongs or a long kitchen fork, place bell pepper over a gas flame, or place in an baking dish under a high broiler, and turn until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag or in a covered bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and dice.
While cooling and prepping the red pepper, toast the barley in a large skillet for about 10 minutes on medium-high, shaking the pan often. Add broth to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 30 minutes or until broth is almost absorbed and barley is tender. Add in oil, diced onion and corn kernels; stir and sautee for 10 minutes.
Once onion is translucent and corn is cooked, fold in the diced red pepper and remove from heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes at room temperature, then toss with lime or lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cool.