For the salad
1 cup whole barley (hulled)
3 cups filtered water
a pinch of whole sea salt
a piece of kombu (2 cm long), soaked
pumpkin seeds (a good handful), lightly toasted
1 cup daikon sprouts
fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)
For the dressing
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
the juice of 1 lemon
1 pinch whole sea salt
1 teaspoon barley malt syrup
Makes 4-6 servings.
Cooking the barley
Wash the barley and soak it in the filtered water for about 8 hours. Place the barley and the water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the kombu and salt, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until most of the water has been absorbed, without stirring as you don’t want to alter the cooking process. The barley should get tender in about 50-60 minutes (if you are using a pressure cooker, cooking time will reduce to 30 minutes). Remove the kombu. Drain if necessary (there should be no water left in the saucepan), transfer into a baking pan or tray and let cool.
Pour the olive oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, lemon juice and malt syrup in a cup and whisk all ingredients together. Season with salt.
Assembling the barley salad
Transfer the barley in a salad bowl, add the daikon sprouts and the pumpkin seeds, sprinkle with the dressing and mix thoroughly.
Tips, thoughts, ideas
You can grow your own daikon sprouts at home, which is a very simple process that usually takes about 5 days (sprouting time can vary a lot according to humidity and temperature conditions). Daikon sprouts, just as daikon radishes, have amazing detoxing properties, helping us to digest fats and dissolve deposits that are accumulated in the body (in fact, they act as a diuretic). Barley has also been always considered for its purifying properties. Both daikon and barley help lower high blood pressure. Being very refreshing and cleansing, this dish is most appropriate for spring and summer consumption.