{ ffwd } pearl barley and tuna salad

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I know, I sometimes have a hard time following a recipe, but I have an even harder time following this week’s FFwD assignment. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE duck breast. And I know I would love duck breast WITH fresh peaches even better. I even bought the fresh peaches to prove it. But duck breasts were just a hard find here in Singapore. I could find whole ducks at my local supermarket but I didn’t feel like spending money on a whole duck, let alone butchering it all on my own (head and all). And I didn’t want to commit to eating and cooking duck for the rest of the week either. So I made something else. And was glad I did.

This was a surprisingly delicious salad. Well, come to think of it, it wasn’t really surprising cause I love tuna. In ANY form. So I knew from the start that this salad was going to be a winner. Plus, I’ve had wheat berries before in France and I remember liking it. However, I knew I would have a hard time finding it here. Pearl barleys however, are plentiful in Singapore. I already had a packet sitting in my pantry. They don’t really taste the same but are alike in texture. So I went with the pearl barley. The only annoying thing about this recipe is cooking the pearl barley. It required at least an hour to cook in salted water. Otherwise the rest of the recipe was pretty straight forward. Had the pearl barley took less time to cook, it could’ve easily been a week-night winner.

The tuna paired really well with the celery/apple combo. And that was the surprising bit for me I guess. I’ve never had raw celery and apple in a salad before. So it was a first and I really liked it! I only wish I had an avocado. The rich buttery fruit would’ve went really well with the crunchy sweet apple and pepper. Unfortunately my local market didn’t have any and I certainly wasn’t in the mood to go some place else to find it. Another thing that I did differently was to reduce the amount of barley in the salad. Barley is very filling and 1/4 cup, along with all the other ingredients was certainly enough to fill the stomach of two hungry people. I would definitely make this again minus the barley for a quick lunch/dinner. I can already imagine a crusty baguette filled with this salad.. pan bagnat style. YUM!!

Pear Barley and Tuna Salad

  1. Cook your barley until soft but still has a bite to it (around an hour or so). Reserve, let cool.
  2. In a bowl, mix dijon mustard, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and a touch of chilli flakes. Pour the vinaigrette on top of the cooled barley. Mix well and let stand for an hour so the flavours are absorbed.
  3. Slice and dice celery stalks, onions, red bell pepper, red apple. Halve some cherry tomatoes. Boil an egg.
  4. Mix them all with the barley, along with a can of tuna in olive oil.
  5. Serve with some greens.

The complete recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table”.

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10 thoughts on “{ ffwd } pearl barley and tuna salad

  1. I was really surprised when I did the wheat berries with the tuna, I loved it. With the exception of an Italian Easter pie, (which is a sweet dessert, I had never used them. But I agree, barley was a great choice to use for a sub.

  2. No the whole “whole duck” thing turns my stomach, especially with the head attached. Probably a good call on your part. I made this salad with Israeli Couscous and it was delicious. I hope you read the FFWD Links for this recipe because everyone used great variations. We all seemed to like this salad as much as you did. I am glad you made it – a good substitute.

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