A Healthy, Warm Weather Meal
Man, I really had to switch gears on this week’s recipe. My plans were to post a recipe for chowder, until the last several days saw the mercury climbing ever higher (yeah, I know that no thermometers use mercury any more, but I really like the sound of it). It was pushing 80 F by the time I unstuck myself from the sheets this morning (no air conditioning in the apartment). Even in the morning, while it was slightly cooler, I could not imagine myself eating chowder later in the day.
So, I decided that I must figure out how to use the pressure cooker to make a salad. After many hours of head-scratching and brow-furrowing I decided to make a salad with grains and beans, which of course, can be made in the pressure cooker.
Cooking the barley and beans together, I was able to cut down on the time spent using appliances. And, using the Instant Pot it does not increase the temperature in the kitchen by any detectable amount.
Even so, it is probably a good idea to get the cooking part out of the way early while it is still relatively cool, then let it cool for awhile before you add in the other ingredients.
First, let’s just worry about getting the beans and barley ready. Yes, I know these days that there doesn’t seem to be any other grain besides quinoa, but I decided on barley. Beer is made from barley, and I like beer, so obviously barley is better than quinoa.
I wasn’t able to try this a couple times before posting it, but fortunately it turned out pretty well.
Put 4 cups of water, 1 cup of beans and 1 cup of pearl barley in the pressure cooker along with 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and a bay leaf. For most dishes I would soak the beans overnight, but for this, I recommend just rinsing. For this, we want the beans to remain firm, not to break down like you would want for soup.
Bring to high pressure and cook for 20 minutes.
When time is up, remove from heat, wait 10 minutes then do a quick release.
Let it cool while you go somewhere air-conditioned to have breakfast (at least, that’s what I did).
When you get back, chop and slice and whatnot the various vegetables, cheese and meat. Mix it in with the beans and barley.
Now, let’s get to the dressing. In a blender or food processor, mix together the juice of 2 limes, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey (if making a vegan version, you can sub agave nectar), 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some black pepper. Go ahead and blenderize (yes, blenderize!) that mixture and when it is smooth pour over the salad and mix together.
It is best to let the flavors blend, so pop it in the fridge and go to the local pub for a brewski while the flavors meld.
When you get home, remove the whole deal from the fridge, mix it up again, and serve it up.
Enjoy, and make sure you have some ice cream on hand for dessert!
|Pressure Cooker Black Bean Barley Salad|| |
- I cup Black Beans, rinsed
- 1 cup Pearl Barley, rinsed
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 4 cups water
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
- ½ Red Onion, thinly sliced
- 6 Radishes, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces sliced Spanish Chorizo or Salami, slices cut into quarters (omit for vegan or vegetarian option)
- 6 ounces smoked gouda, cubed (omit for vegan option)
- ½ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
- Juice of 2 limes
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- Black Pepper to taste
- Put beans and barley in pressure cooker pot
- Add 4 cups water, ½ teaspoon cumin and bay leaf
- Put top on pressure cooker and set for high pressure
- When high pressure is reached, set timer for 20 minutes
- When time is up, remove pressure cooker from heat
- Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release
- With slotted spoon or spider, remove beans and barley to bowl and let cool
- When mixture has cooled, add bell pepper, onion, radishes, cilantro, chorizo and cheese
- Mix everything together
- In blender or food processor, mix the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, honey (substitute agave nectar if making a vegan version), cilantro, salt and pepper
- Blend until smooth
- Pour over salad, then mix everything together
- Refrigerate for an hour or so to let flavors meld