This hearty salad can be eaten warm or cold. It's a delicious balance of sweet beets, rich barley, tangy feta, and slightly bitter arugula. Each of the components can be made ahead and mixed at the last minute, making it great for dinner on busy days.
1 pound beets
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups uncooked pearl barley
2 cups trimmed arugula
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
3 garlic cloves, minced
How to Make It
Leave root and 1 inch stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Place in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water, and cool. Trim off beet roots, and rub off skins. Cut beets into 1/4-inch-wide wedges.
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the barley; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.
Combine the barley, arugula, walnuts, and cheese in a large bowl. Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the vinegar mixture over the barley mixture, tossing to coat. Top with beets.
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Loved this - a little too much balsamic and garlic in the dressing, but the fennel seeds are fantastic. You could skip the beets altogether if you're pressed for time, but the presentation with them is lovely. Great feta/barley in every bite, plus peppery arugula.
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