The mild, sweet flavour and chewy texture of pearl barley is combined here with black-eyed beans and lots of colourful vegetables. A fresh-tasting tomato and mint dressing adds a summery feel to this wholesome salad. Serve on its own for lunch or supper, with some fresh fruit to follow.
For a spicy barley salad, add a pinch of saffron strands when cooking the pearl barley and use 1 can red kidney beans, about 410 g, drained and rinsed, rather than black-eyed beans. For the dressing, whisk 1 seeded and finely chopped fresh red chilli and 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil with the vinegar and garlic, and add chopped fresh coriander and parsley instead of the mint and chervil.
Barley is low in fat and rich in starchy carbohydrate, and is a good source of B vitamins. It is an excellent food for those with diabetes because it is absorbed slowly. * Although highly refined, weight for weight pearl barley provides more dietary fibre than brown rice. * Spinach contains oxalic acid, which binds with iron, making most of it unavailable to the body. Eating spinach with something that is a good source of vitamin C, such as tomatoes, can increase iron uptake.
Excellent source of copper, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E. Good source of iron, potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, zinc. Useful source of calcium, niacin.