Salmon and Barley Salad

Martha Stewart Living, March 2006
  • Yield Serves 6
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  • 1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pound salmon fillet, skinned, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh dill, plus sprigs for garnish
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Put pearl barley and 1 1/4 cups water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until water has been absorbed and barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain any excess water, and return barley to saucepan. Fluff with a fork; cover, and set aside.

  2. Bring wine, 5 cups water, the peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the bay leaf, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to a boil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 5 minutes. Add salmon; cook 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer salmon to a nonreactive dish. Cover; let stand 5 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining tablespoon lemon juice, the oil, dill, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; season with pepper.

  4. Toss together barley, salmon, onion, and cucumber in a large bowl. Gently fold in vinaigrette. Divide salad among six plates; garnish with dill, and serve with lemon wedges.

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