Barley matches up with earthy, tender beets and the crunch of fresh celery, radishes and nuts in this beet salad recipe. Red beets turn your salad a gorgeous magenta. For a softer color, use golden or chioggia baby beets instead.
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
1¼ pounds baby beets (10 to 15, depending on size)
6 cups water
¾ cup pearled barley, rinsed
1¼ teaspoons salt, divided
¼ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
¼ cup slivered fresh basil
½ cup walnuts or pecans, toasted (see Tip), coarsely chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Scrub beets under running water. Wrap the damp beets in heavy-duty foil (or a double layer of foil), crimping it closed to make a packet. Place in the oven and roast the beets until tender when pierced with a fork, 1 to 1½ hours, depending on the size. Unwrap; when cool enough to handle, slip off the skins with your fingers. Cut the beets in quarters lengthwise.
Meanwhile, combine water, barley and ¾ teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook, uncovered, until the barley is tender, but still chewy, 40 to 50 minutes. Drain well and spread out on a baking sheet to cool.
Whisk vinegar, oil, mustard, honey (or agave), pepper and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the beets, celery, radishes and scallions; toss to coat. Let the vegetables marinate in the dressing for about 15 minutes. Stir in the barley.
Just before serving, stir in basil and top with nuts.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4 (don't add radishes), cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Stir in radishes and basil and top with nuts before serving.
Tip: Toast nuts before using in a recipe for the best flavor. To toast whole nuts, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes. To toast chopped, small or sliced nuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
262 calories;12 g fat(1 g sat); 8 g fiber; 34 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 133 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 10 g sugars; 3 g added sugars; 251 IU vitamin A; 9 mg vitamin C; 51 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 367 mg sodium; 535 mg potassium