I recently came across a blog called The Cookbooking School. The author is learning to cook by working her way through cookbooks. I love that.
I am blessed in Chicago to be near a huge public library with an enormous collection of cookbooks.
I recently checked out Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe collection from her New York Times column, Recipes for Health. I used it over the weekend to make a barley and mushroom salad for a party G. and I were having.
As always, there were omissions and substitutions. I didn’t have peas or walnut oil. I had squash. And so it goes. Here are my versions of her recipes:
Barley and Mushroom Salad
1 cup pearl barley
3 cups water
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces white mushrooms chopped or sliced thin
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2-4 leaves of sage, chopped
1 cup radicchio, chopped
3 small Delicata squash, roasted, skinned and cut into chunks
Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the barley to the pan and stir until it smells toasty, about 5 minutes. Add the water, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 40 minutes. Drain any excess water.
Combine the barley, mushrooms, parsley, sage, radicchio and squash in a bowl. Toss with the walnut vinaigrette. This can be served warm or at room temperature.
Variation: The original recipe called for 1 cup of English peas, uncooked or steamed for 5 minutes, instead of Delicata squash.
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (or Champagne vinegar)
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup walnuts
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a nice emulsion.