Cooked Grains Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette

Hey, look! Another grain and vegetable summertime salad! Well, when summer produce is abundant and delicious, far be it from me to refrain from eating it whenever possible.

This recipe is borrowed with gratitude from the New York Times' Recipes for Health series. I love their fresh, light, seasonal recipes -- they always seem to know exactly what I would like. This one's simple yet really, really great. The tomato vinaigrette in particular is outrageously good. I could have just eaten that with a spoon. Of course, the quality of the vinaigrette will depend in large part on the quality of your tomatoes, so choose wisely.

If I were to change anything the next time around, I'd probably add a few more veggies. I think lightly steamed summer squash or chopped-up green beans would be really nice in this.

Cooked Grains Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette
  • Half-a-pound ripe farmer's market tomatoes (I used a yellow heirloom variety)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or sherry vinegar if you have it)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups cooked grains (I used pearl barley and brown rice; you could also use farro, quinoa, or bulgur)
  • Kernels from one ear of corn, steamed (you can steam the whole cob before slicing it up, or zap the kernels in the microwave for about 30 seconds)
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh herbs (I used dill, but tarragon or parsley would have been great too)
Cut the tomatoes in half across the equator and grate on the large holes of a box grater into a wide bowl. Stir in the garlic, salt and pepper, vinegar, and oil. Add the remaining ingredients, toss together, and serve.