Monday, August 22, 2011

It's a salad kind of night.

If you read this blog on any kind of regular basis, you may have surmised that we host a gathering once a month at our place.   No RSVP's are necessary, it's pretty much a come if you can, and bring a guest if you like.   So last month, July Tapas we had fun, and this month is even funner, or is that more fun?  hmmmm, gotta think on that one.   My husband thought it would be fun to declare our usual Tapa's night, a Salad night.  So we asked everyone to bring either their favourite salad topping or their favourite salad.     I provided some lettuce, both iceberg and a lovely spring mix, and let the creativeness in.   And as is usual here, everyone outdid themselves.   But before I tell you what they brought, I thought I'd feature what I made.
Barley Salad

I had a package of barley in the cupboard, and some frozen Edamame's.  I really wanted to make something that would use both of those things up.   I used to make a dish with brown rice, mushrooms and peas, a little soy sauce and sesame oil.   Hmmmm.  So, I decided to cook the barley, mix it with the Edamame's, some lovely mushrooms and season it with some soy sauce and sesame oil.   I figured that serving this 'salad' warm or a room temperature just might work.    There is no recipe, but here's a rule of thumb.

Barley Salad
1 lb. package Barley, cooked
1 lb. package Edamame beans
8 oz. sliced mushrooms ( I think Portobello's would work wonderfully here as well)
1-2 tbsp.  Soy sauce
1-2 tbsp. Sesame Seed Oil
1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds, mixed in with the mushrooms and cooked alongside them

And as usual, this is all to your taste.   I find the soy sauce is just salty enough, but you can add more or less. 

I also had some rolls that were slightly stale, so I slathered them with some garlic infused olive oil

and baked them in the oven to make some home made croutons.   Waste not, want not, lol.   They were ok, not that great to be honest.   I think if they'd been made with some really good ciabatta bread or sourdough, they would have been fantastic.   But I took the garlic I used to infuse the oil with,  and made some garlic butter for a future use.  It freezes very well, and since I also used some of the garlic oil in it, it will also soften and spread much easier when I do come to use it. 

Got the lettuce salad bar set up, there were mushrooms, scallions, corn, peas and tomatoes as well as the croutons I'd made. (and yes I know I should have taken the wrappings off of everything, but people started arriving and I had to hurry and take the picture.)
 And here's some of what people brought.
Clockwise, Seafood Pasta salad, hiding behind that some Thai wraps, next a wonderful Napa Cabbage salad with fresh ginger, broccoli and pasta, the barley and edamame salad, then an egg salad served with crackers, and a hummus dip, and the remains of some Caprese salad. 

In the foreground the Thai rice wraps, fresh beets, radish, chicken, and some Jicama sticks.
All in all, everyone outdid themselves, brought something that was unique and delicious, and we had a great time as usual.  

I'll let you know what we do next month.

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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