The grains are tossed with an aromatic vinaigrette spiced with coriander, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon, then sprinkled with currants and toasted almonds. The salad is full of flavours and textures that are just right for fish and chicken dishes. But you could also add some cooked lentils and crumbled feta to make it more substantial.
I first tried a variation of this salad at my friend Kara’s cottage. It was a sticky August evening along the shores of the Northumberland Strait in New Brunswick and we were feasting on spatchcocked barbecued chicken, this aromatic grain salad and lots of zesty white wine. It was a weekend for savouring time with dear friends, watching our kids delight in being reunited with their best buddies and watching in amazement a freak hail storm that dropped hail stones the size of crab apples and cracked our windshield. A memorable weekend in many weird and wonderful ways.
Wild Rice and Barley Salad with Coriander Vinaigrette
(Adapted from my friend Kara)
- 1 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup hulled barley, farro or pot barley
- 1 cup minced red onion
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup currants or dried cranberries
- ½ cup toasted slivered almonds or pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup vinegar (white wine vinegar or cider vinegar)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp. Grandma Fancy Molasses
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- Combine wild rice in a pot with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook until tender then drain.
- Combine barley with 3 cups water in a heavy pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until tender (but still chewy), about 40 minutes. Add more water during cooking, if necessary.
- Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl, whisk until combined.
- Add currants to dressing and let rest while you prepare the remaining salad ingredients.
- Toss cooked rice with barley and dressing.
- Fold in onion and parsley and sprinkle with almonds.
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