Been there. Did it last week at the Publican. I seriously lost my foodie shit over their octopus with barley, peas, pecorino and watermelon. Perfectly tender squid, nutty pecorino, crisp watermelon and chewy barley. And seriously, who knew? Watermelon and barley? A textural match made in heaven.
I was on a mission for more. Had to have it. Couldn't live without it. And sadly can't afford to eat at the Publican all the days of my life. Tomato Watermelon Salad with Feta and Barley came to be.
Okay... I know what you're thinking. Watermelon and barley together? In all honesty, I probably never would have put it together, but the restaurant dish inspired me. And what a great way to incorporate a hearty whole grain in a summer-y dish. Makes this option fresh and filling.
Cut your watermelon in lovely cubes and eat at least one slice of melon in the process. It would be unnatural not to.
I chose heirloom cherry tomatoes for their gorgeous color, but any tomato would work here. Green guys would be an elegant addition.
Toasted almond finish things with a crunch and feta provides tang.
Tomato Watermelon Salad with Feta and Barley
6-8 cups seedless watermelon, chopped in 1-in cubes
1lb tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped basil
1 teaspoon salt
Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil and add rinsed barley. Simmer for 45 minutes and cool. Combine watermelon and tomatoes; sprinkle with salt and let stand for 10 minutes. Add almonds, feta, barley, olive oil, vinegar and basil. Toss to combine.