North Dakota Bean with Barley Salad

North Dakota Bean with Barley Salad

Main Ingredients:
1 15 oz. can of Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
– (Cannellini or Navy beans may also be used)
1 cup cooked barley (quick or whole-grain)
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut lengthwise into strips
– (use either oil-packed or good quality dried variety)
1 stalk of celery, sliced into half-moon pieces
¼ red onion, diced
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon (½ oz.) balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

*1 ear of corn, grilled and cut from the cob (seasonal option)

To garnish:
15 to 20 small leaves of Romaine lettuce
Herb-infused extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic reduction

Directions:
Cook the barley according to directions on package; cool before using. For added flavor, use beef, chicken or vegetable stock instead of water.

Combine all main ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix well, being careful not to break the beans. Refrigerate for at least one to two hours. For best results, allow the salad to come to room temperature before serving.

For individual servings, use a ring mold to form the salad into elegant, round mounds. Line the plate with the herb-infused olive oil and then place 3 to 4 Romaine leaves around the salad, followed by a generous drizzle of balsamic reduction.

To Store: Cover leftovers with plastic or store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days.

Tony’s Tips:

  • This salad can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance, just wait to add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper until about one to two hours before serving to preserve the crispness of the vegetables.
  • Drain the beans and rinse well before using.
  • If using dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes, soak in water for 15 to 20 minutes before using.