We love new beginnings and fresh starts. After a month or two of feasting and festing, there’s a deep joy in paying attention to the everyday routines that keep us healthy, happy, and sane the rest of the year. Suddenly there seems to be time to take care of ourselves, to take joy in daily rituals, and to enjoy a bit of quiet. One of our favorite new habits for January is to make a big salad once a week filed with fresh, seasonal vegetables and nourishing whole grains. This cauliflower and barley salad is hearty enough for dinner and packs up beautifully for lunches all week. A little sweet, a little savory, slightly mysterious and smoky from toasted sesame oil, brightened up with ginger and lemon juice, tender barley and crunchy cauliflower are satisfyingly nutty and hit all the right notes. Happy New Year!
Winter Cauliflower and Barley Salad with Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets and briefly blanched (you want to retain a substantial crunch)
2 watermelon radish, sliced thin
1 small apple, julienned
1 1/2 c cooked barley (cook al dente)
1/4 c cilantro leaves
flake sea salt to taste
juice of 1 lemon
2″ fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs maple syrup
1/4 c olive oil
Place salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Set aside while you make vinaigrette. Place vinaigrette ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until emulsified. Strain vinaigrette to remove grated ginger pulp and drizzle over salad. Season to taste with flake sea salt and toss well with vinaigrette. Allow to sit for 30 minutes or so to allow the barley and cauliflower to soak up the vinaigrette, then serve.