Blueberry Barley and Mint Salad.

The last couple of days have been both joyful and deeply sad.  We celebrated our friends’ marriage over the weekend with a beautiful ceremony in Brooklyn, and today, I turn 31.

We also lost my husband’s grandmother this past weekend.  Mimi, as we all called her, has acted as a stand-in grandmother for me over the past decade.  She made us hand-knit slippers at Christmas and cooked the best French toast man has ever tasted.  She stocked her freezer with Peppermint Patties for the women in the family and her fridge with Yuenglings for the men.  She was an amazing mother, grandmother, and all-around person.

Last night, we made this salad, inspired by Cooking Light, as a way to nurture the soul a little bit.


Blueberry Barley and Mint Salad

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • about 1 cup mint leaves
  • about 1/3 cup olive oil
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • about 5 oz arugula
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced and soaked in cold water for about 10 minutes (removes some of the sting!)
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  1. Salt the water, add the apple cider vinegar, and bring to a boil.  Add barley and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, chop all of your vegetables and place in a large salad bowl with the arugula.
  3. Add mint, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Add hot barley to the vegetable mixture, add goat cheese, and toss thoroughly with dressing.


The Verdict:

Even if you think this is weird – especially if you think this is weird – give this a try.  THe Husband, who doesn’t like blueberries or red onions, (& doesn’t think of salad as a “real” meal), went for seconds.  And then brought the rest for lunch.


Published by


planning, cooking, eating and repeating.

9 thoughts on “Blueberry Barley and Mint Salad.”

  1. Happy Birthday Varina!
    I love your blog. You are a talented writer.
    So sorry for you and your husband and family regarding his Grandmother’s passing. She sounds like she was a remarkable woman. I too loved my husband’s grandmother . She was a surrogate Nonna for me when we married. I learned many things from her.
    Thank you for your delightful and inspiring words.
    Now , do celebrate your birthday💐


  2. I am so sorry for your loss. I have a Mimi as well and I know how wonderful they are. Keep her in your thoughts and try the best to enjoy your special day! She would want you to.

    P.S. That salad really does look delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy birthday to you!!! Celebrate well, my friend.

    Mimi sounds fabulous. A grandmother who knows what a Yuengling is is a grandmother I’d like to you. You’re lucky to have known her!

    Feed me this & tuck me in, please.


  4. Happy birthday Varina! Hope you enjoyed your day!
    Sorry about your husband’s grandmother, good that you have good memories about her, they are a treasure.


  5. Loved Mimi as she always was a sweet host when Paul and I would HOG down to OCity. Sweet memories we can all cherish.

    Love this salad idea as Laurie and I are big fans of “managed shrubs”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s