Sunday, June 24, 2012

Barley Goes Wild: A recipe

Thag is always coming home with a shopping bag of some edible or another saying, "So and so says it is really good in stews."  Who makes stews?  Yes, I'm sure our anscestors must have made a lot of meat stews; that is what you do when you kill a whole animal and want to make use of every part--even the tough bits.  But the people I know do not make stews on a weekly (or daily!) basis.  Me, I like stew, in the fall and winter, on blustery days, when I need some serious pick me up.  However, in lovely summer weather, I'm not going to take perfectly good (and expensive) meat and lovely, fresh wild edible greens and flowers and drown them in a stew.

So when Thag returned from an outing with Yub Yub holding a blueberry pint container containing delicate basswood flowers and mentioned stew, I devised this heavenly SALAD.  Note the healthy doses of wild foods in this one.  It'll beat your stew anyday.

Barley Goes Wild:

3/4 cup barley, winter weat berries, bulger, or wild rice
2 cups water
1 onion chopped or 1 cup wild leeks, chopped
1 large bunch lamb's quarters, rinsed and chopped
1 cup basswood flowers and buds
1/8 to 1/4 cup black walnuts or other wild nut
1/8 cup red clover vinegar
1/8 cup olive oil
1 or 2 tsp maple syrup
salt and pepper

1)  In small sauce pan, boil water (add salt if desired).  Add barley and simmer until cooked (about 40 minutes).

2)  Saute onion or leeks in olive oil until soft. 

3)  Add lamb's quarter to onion and cook until wilted.

4)  Add basswood flowers to onion saute and cook 3 minutes.

5)  Whisk together clover vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste.  (If you like your salads a little saucier, you can double this vinegarette.)

6)  Combine all ingredients in large serving bowl.  Serve warm or cold.

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