Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's Time for Cooking to Combat Cancer, Round 3!

warm bulgur and fennel salad

Cooking to Combat Cancer III is back! That means my friend Chris of Melecotte is celebrating her third year of being cancer-free. Now that's something to cheer about.

If you know Chris, then you know that she's a special person. Words such as generous, humble, funny, and caring come to my mind when I think of her.

So won't you join me in marking Chris's milestone? All you have to do is submit a recipe with cancer-fighting ingredients to Chris by Wednesday, April 29, 2009. See details here.

I'm submitting a healthy, cancer-fighting Mediterranean dish that I think Chris will enjoy. My Warm Barley and Fennel Salad is highly textured, aromatic, and flavorful; enjoy it as a main meal or as a side dish with grilled fish or meat. It's made with high fiber barley, antioxidant-rich vegetables, and heart-healthy olive oil, so your body will be happy.

Warm Barley and Fennel Salad
Makes 6 servings.
Print recipe only here.

1 cup barley
2 1/2 cups water, or as much as needed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, diced
12 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
12 olives, such as Kalamata and Cerignola, pitted and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons lightly toasted, chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh parsley, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt, to taste

In a medium saucepan bring water to a boil. Add barley; return to a boil for 2 minutes, then reduce to low, cover partially, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. If water evaporates, simply add a little more.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add diced fennel; saute 5-7 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender, but not mushy.

In a large bowl, add cooked barley, fennel, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and walnuts; toss lightly until well blended.

In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, crushed red pepper, and salt. Pour over the barley mixture and toss until well coated. Taste it and adjust seasonings accordingly. Garnish with additional fresh parsley, if desired.

Enjoy this salad warm, at room temperature, or chilled. It tastes even better after a day or two and makes excellent leftovers.

Here are more cancer-fighting dishes you might enjoy:

Cranberry, Banana, and Honey Smoothie

Asian Noodle Salad with Tofu and Mango

Lemony Blueberry Corn Bread with Basil

Shrimp, Pineapple, and Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf Salad

Here are more delicious recipes featuring barley:

Crepes with Sweet Barley and Apple Preserves at Kitchen Unplugged
Barley Pilaf Salad with Three Basils Pesto at Christine Cooks
Barley Salad with Peppers, Beans, and Everything Else at ecurry

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