Pearl barley is one of the earth’s oldest grains and is fabulously filling, but you might have heard around the way that he’s stodgy. Not so! We’ve inserted it into this tabbouleh with parsley oil dressing and succulent chicken breast for a fresh, light twist. See? A pretty pearler indeed.
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Rinse the pearl barley in a sieve under running water. Add to a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until soft in texture but slightly chewy. You may need to add more boiling water if it runs dry. Drain the pearl barley once it’s cooked and rinse in warm water.
Chop the parsley and peel and crush the garlic. Blanch half of the parsley in a cup of boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and dry well. Blend the blanched parsley with the garlic and the olive oil. (If you don’t have a blender you can achieve a similar result by finely chopping the ingredients). Set aside.
Meanwhile, season the chicken with some salt and pepper and heat a pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook the chicken fillets for 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Set aside and thinly slice.
Dice the tomato and the cucumber. Pit and chop the kalamata olives. Roughly chop the mint. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pearl barley with the tomato, cucumber, mint, olives, and remaining parsley. Stir through the parsley oil and season to taste.
Divide the pearl barley salad between the plates and top with the sliced grilled chicken. Enjoy! Did you know? The oldest evidence of barley consumption dates back 23,000 years!