If there’s one vegetable that’s guaranteed to be fruitful in the garden, often leaving us with more than what we have need for, it’s zucchini – known as squash in Norway. Zucchini lends itself to a myriad of dishes, both savory and sweet, due to its mild and subtle taste. It’s perfect in a summer vegetable soup, as a sweet bread adorned with a good spread of butter, and grilled above glowing embers. It’s also lovely just as it is, especially tossed raw into a salad.
In the summer, I’ll often have this barley and zucchini salad adorning the picnic table. It’s substantial enough with the chewy barley and elegant with the feathery zucchini ribbons and toasted almonds. This is also a nice salad to have for leftovers, since the barley has more time to absorb the dressing and the flavors can blend together.
It’s so simple to put together and pairs well with other dishes, such as a grilled whole salmon.
Barley and Shaved Zucchini Salad (byggsalat med squash)
- 150 g (3/4 cup) pearl barley
- 50 g sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 zucchini, sliced lengthways
- 15 g herbs chopped, like parsley and dill
- Sea salt
- Pink peppercorns, if desired
For the dressing:
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) oil
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon or another sharp mustard
- 2 teaspoons runny honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 small red onion
In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the barley with 2 ¼ cups (540 ml) water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until tender—the cook time will vary depending on the type of barley used. Drain and set aside to cool.
In a skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds, stirring often, until they are golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
To make the dressing, whisk the oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon, honey and salt together in a small bowl. Cut the red onion in half and slice thinly, then add to the dressing to infuse for 20 minutes.
In a large serving bowl, mix together the barley, almonds, zucchini, herbs, and dressing. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and crushed pink peppercorns.