This simple salad tastes fresh and light, but is still filling. It also held over as leftovers really well. It would be perfect to take to a summer potluck or picnic.
Makes 8 cups
For the salad
- 2 (6 oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 4 cups less-sodium chicken broth, divided
- I cup uncooked pearl barley
- 2 cups seeded cubed cucumber
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup cubed yellow bell pepper
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives (optional)
For the dressing
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
- 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. honey
To prepare salad, sprinkle chicken with 1/8 tsp. salt. Heat 1 tsp. oil in nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Add 1 cup broth; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until done. Cool; shred chicken. Discard broth.
Bring 3 cups broth to boil in a large saucepan; add barley. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 35 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Cool. Combine chicken, barley, cucumber, and next four ingredients in a large bowl.
To prepare dressing, combine 3 Tbsp. oil, zest, and remaining ingredients; stir well. Add to barley mixture; toss well. Cover and chill.