In our interview with Martha Rose Shulman, cookbook author, New York Times columnist, cooking school teacher and Julia Child pen pal, Shulman points out that eating vegetarian isn't the political statement now that it was a few decades ago. This is true in many ways, not the least being that eating meatless dishes today is also, often, about flavor as much as it is about health. Shulman's recipes have that in spades. And if you spend any time reading her column and leafing through her books, you will be struck by how she uses whole grains and fresh herbs, among other things, to achieve this.

Shulman's barley and mushroom salad — built with cooked barley that has first been toasted; matched with mushrooms, a short market list of herbs; and laced with a glorious walnut vinaigrette — is, one could argue, the cover shot of her new book The Very Best of Recipes for Health for very good reason. Turn the page for the recipe.

Barley and mushroom salad with English peas

From: The Very of Best Recipes for Health, by Martha Rose Shulman

Note: This recipes is vegetarian (if made with vegetarian stock) and vegan. If English peas aren't in season (like, say, now), substitute edamame.

Makes: 4-6 servings

Walnut vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or Champagne vinegar


1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 small garlic clove, finely minced or pureed in a mortar and pestle

1/4 cup walnut oil

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as chives, dill, tarragon, marjoram

1/3 cup walnuts

ground black pepper

1. To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, salt, mustard and garlic. Whisk in the oils. Taste and adjust the seasonings.


1 cup pearl barley

3 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

6 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

walnut vinaigrette (recipe below)

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, or a mixture of parsley and other herbs, such as chives, dill, tarragon or marjoram

2-4 leaves fresh sage, very thinly slivered

1 cup shelled English peas, uncooked, or steamed for 5 minutes

1 cup shredded radicchio

1 ounce Parmesan, shaved (about 1/4 cup)

1. Heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the barley. Stir until the barley begins to smell toasty, about 5 minutes. Add the stock or water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the barley is tender. If all the liquid has not been absorbed, drain.

2. Place the mushrooms in a salad bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing (reserve the remainder of the dressing for another use).

3. When the barley is ready, add to the salad bowl and toss. Add the remaining dressing, the parsley or mixed herbs, sage, peas and radicchio and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnishing each serving with some Parmesan.

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