It's the 20th again so it's time for another Crazy Ingredient Challenge! This month's winning ingredients are barley and salsa. Not too crazy but definitely not two items that you see together often. I always have lofty plans for CIC and then suddenly, it's a couple days before the 20th and I start grabbing all the ideas and choosing the easiest one. Casseroles, burritos, salads, slow cooker dishes. All were tossed in favour of this simple Spanish-style side. Usually with the Spanish style rice, you are chopping onions and garlic and tomatoes and peppers but since we're using salsa, you can skip all of that. Easy peasy and tasty!
I'm a sucker for corn so I stirred some in. Carrots, beans, and peas asked to join the party so I grudgingly let them in. I don't dislike carrots and green beans but green peas are not my friends. When I was a little girl, I convinced myself that they gave me a headache. I could look at a can of green peas and my head would immediately start hurting. I can't even tell you how I made the association between my headaches and green peas but I did. I think I was just looking for a food to hate? Or I just hadn't found the true trigger for my migraines? I do eat them now if they're on my plate but I'd prefer if they weren't. I really can't tell you if it's a flavour thing. Adult Kelly is just siding with her younger self.
Spanish Style Barley
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup pearl barley
1 cup prepared salsa
2 1/2 cups water
salt to taste
1 cup frozen vegetables
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. When oil is hot, stir in the barley. Stir occasionally until barley is toasted - about five minutes. Make sure it doesn't burn!
Add the salsa, water, and salt to taste. You could also use stock but I preferred to use water since the salsa had a bit of salt in it.
Bring to a boil then allow to simmer covered for about 40 minutes. When all the liquid is almost absorbed, stir in the frozen vegetables. Cover and cook until the vegetables are heated through. Barley is ready when it's tender but still has a bit of a chew. If your barley still isn't tender, add a little bit of water and continue cooking.