Before I began to blog, I used to post my food pics with its recipe on Facebook. My friends urged me to go public, to share my joy of food and photography with many more people and I am so glad I made to leap to the blogosphere. I really enjoy being part of the food blogging community, where I have met some really awesome people so far. I hope to continue to be pushed to try new dishes, meet new people, etc, over time.
In honour of the 100th post on the blog, I thought I would bring everyone back to where it all began. The first picture in my “Food Porn” album is the above pic. Over Thanksgiving, I made an incredibly delicious French Barley Salad that I Ashley posted at Eat Me, Delicious, which was adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special (which I already owned!). The food was so delicious it got a spotlight in my Thanksgiving 2008 album and also kickstarted my food photography.
It is through practice and reflection that we improve, and I know my photos have improved over the past couple of years. So when I remade the salad recently, I still took its photo… of the leftovers, though, and sadly my photography skills were not at their peak. Can I blame it on my parents having prettier bowls? Nah…. One step forward and two steps back.. sounds like I am dancing backwards? ;) Well, at least it is a tasty trip backwards. :)
In reflection of where I’ve been culinarily since the beginning of the blog, I added a new category to the blog highlighting my favourite dishes. Enjoy!
This is my submission to Cooking with Whole Foods – Whole Grains, featuring barley, this week’s Weekend Wellness, this week’s BSI featuring green beans, and to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays (which also includes salads).
French Barley Salad with Carrots, Green Beans, Red Peppers and Almonds
1/2 cup raw pearl barley
1 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1.5 lemons)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (1 1/2 tsp dried or 2 tsp freeze dried)
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup peeled and diced carrots
1 1/2 cups cut green beans, trimmed and halved
2 cups thinly sliced red or yellow bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (omitted, but a good match when using garlic)
2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1. Using a strainer, rinse the barley and drain. In a small heavy skillet on low heat, roast the barley until fragrant and beginning to brown. Place the barley and water in a small saucepan with a touch of salt, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook on low heat until most of the water has been absorbed and the barley is soft, about 40 minutes.
2. While the barley cooks, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Blanch the carrots in boiling water for about 1 minute. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large serving bowl. Blanch the green beans for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Stir the bell peppers and parsley into the bowl of carrots. Add half of the dressing and toss lightly.
3. When the barley is tender, drain it in a colander. Add the drained barley and the remaining dressing to the serving bowl and mix well. Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Just before serving, gently toss the green beans and toasted almonds into the salad.