Brown Rice and Barley Salad

This is a wonderful Mediterranean influenced salad best eaten at room temperature. It has a subtle and well balanced flavor, and keeps very well for a number of days properly stored in the refrigerator. It's delicious eaten in a wrap with some cucumbers, perhaps a little lettuce and hummus. We served it as a main dish along with two excellent accompaniments: steamed string beans, and also carrots, steamed and then sauteed with butter, brown sugar, and lemon juice until the carrots become carmelized. It's also good with pita triangles brushed with garlic and rosemary infused olive oil and then baked at 350 for 5 minutes.


cups Barley
2 cups Brown Rice
7 cups Vegetable Stock
5   Scallions
3   Tomatoes
½ cup Pine Nuts
½ cup Yellow Onionone quarter inch dice
1 clove Garlic
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
¼ tsp Salt
1 pinch White Sugar
2 tbsp Classic Olive Oil


1 First, I prepare the vegetable bouillon, even sometimes earlier in the day whenever I may be boiling water for somethingelse.
2 I use my largest glass measure, a four cup. I place in it all the bouillon cubes I may need, add the boiling water up to four cups. When it comes time to add the bouillon to the rice and barley, I just pour in the four cups and then fill the glass measure with three more cups of water and then pour that into the pot.
3 Dice the onions to about a 1/4 inch dice.
4 Place a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the classic olive oil. Just as it begins to smoke, or even a bit before, add the onions to saute. Saute the onions a minute or so.
5 Add the brown rice and barley. Let these three ingredients saute while stirring them for about five minutes or until they just begin to color some.
6 Pour in the bouillon. Cover the pot, turn the heat down so the ingredients can just simmer. Let them simmer about 30 minutes.
7 Test to see if the rice is about cooked. There should be just a little bite left, but no crunch.
8 If needed, let the grains cook a little longer, adding perhaps a quarter cup of water, just to keep the grains from sticking on the bottom.
9 During the cooking prepare the tomato/scallion mixture.
10 First prepare a vinaigrette. There's no magic here. Mince the garlic clove. Place the minced garlic in a small jar or cup of some kind.
11 Add the extra virgin olive oil. Sometimes I do this earlier in the day to give the garlic an opportunity to infuse the oil with good flavor.
12 Then, add the vinegar, salt, and sugar. Mix well. I have a little jar with a plastic lid that works because no matter how hard I shake it, there is no leakage. I think the plastic lid makes the difference, so if you have any such jar, think twice before getting rid of it.
13 Prepare the tomatoes. Dice them into about a 1/2 inch dice. About a cup of grape tomatoes works well for this too. Just slice them in half and proceed. Whichever kind of tomatoes, place them in a small mixing bowl. Slice the scallions thinly and add them to the tomatoes. At this point I've been known to add just a little salt right on the tomatoes, even a little pepper. Tomatoes and salt are natural go-togethers.
14 Pour on the vinaigrette. Let this mixture sit for a while at room temperature, at least while the rice and barley are cooking.
15 The pine nuts need to be roasted. This also can be done way before. In fact when I roast pine nuts, I often roast more that I need, since they are a wonderful ingredient for a number of dishes. We often put some in a bowl on the table when we are having pasta with some of the more subtly flavored sauces.
16 With the oven at 375 degrees, place the pine nuts in an oven proof pan. Let them roast for ten minutes. Check to see if they are beginning to brown. They may need a little more roasting. Keep checking them every minute or so. They should become a nice shade between tan and warm brown. However, once they begin browning, watch them carefully because they approach the burned stage very quickly.
17 When the rice and barley are cooked, take them off the burner, and with the lid off, just let the grains sit a bit. This lets them dry out a bit, absorb whatever moisture may be left, which we hope is next to nothing.
18 Spoon out the grains into a large mixing bowl. Let them cool to room temperature.
19 When at room temperature, add the tomato mixture and the pine nuts. Just let this stand, at least ten minutes if you're not in a rush.
20 The dish is ready. We hope it's just as wonderful as it has been when we've had it!