In a mood for something that comes together easily without a lot of fuss? With quick, pan fried shrimp and an Asian flavored dressing, this Pineapple Shrimp Barley Salad is fresh, healthy and fills you up without fattening you up!
With plenty of fresh pineapple on hand I decided to dice it up and make a salad with it. The fresh, bright and tangy flavor would pair well with shrimp and instead of a stir fry or grilling a fast sauté and in the salad would be what I like. A meal in minutes.
Some days I’m just want something fast and tasty and take out is not my answer. I checked the refrigerator and with some leftover cooked barley, pineapple and some fresh shrimp I had picked up this salad came together using one of my favorite Asian inspired salad dressings. While the classic vinaigrette ratio of 3 to 1, oil to vinegar, is the usual guideline I wanted a little more tang and did 1 to 1. I added some slivered almonds and chopped bell peppers for crunch appeal and the cilantro finished it off.
This really hit the spot after a bad day of getting my car hit by someone who didn’t choose to look in their rear view mirror. He backed into us T-bone style as we were leaving a parking lot and then couldn’t find his license. Warning bells rang off and I remembered to stay calm, whipped out my iPhone for pictures of both cars, the passenger’s driver’s license and insurance card.
My passenger side rear door and panel are crunched a bit. It was a little irritating and I won’t go into details, but the thought of dealing with insurance companies is never top of my list of things to do. Wish me luck! My baby may be a year old, but she’s still new to me. Sad face.
Needless to say this hit the spot and I knew I was serving up some good, healthy food.
Pineapple Shrimp Barley Salad
- 1 lb large shrimp deveined
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 cups cooked barley cooled
- 1 cup pineapple diced
- 2 cups bell pepper diced (See Note 1)
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- Asian Dressing:
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 cloves garlic smashed and chopped
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Whisk together the salad dressing and set aside.
- Wash and cut top and bottom off bell peppers and remove seeds. Dice into 1/2" uniform pieces.
- Dice fresh or canned pineapple into 1/2 " pieces.
- Cook barley per package directions and allow to cool. (See Note 2)
- In a large salad bowl mix together the barley, pineapple, bell peppers, almonds, cilantro and half of the salad dressing. Toss to coat and allow dressing to absorb with barley. Cover and refrigerate while you cook shrimp.
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over high heat add oil to pan. Quickly sauté shrimp, cooking for 1 to 2 minutes per side depending on size, or until golden and crisp on edges. Remove from pan and add to salad. Toss to coat and add more salad dressing as you like to taste. Serve immediately or chill completely prior to eating.
2. Bring 1 cup pearled barley, pinch of salt and 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, covered, until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 25-30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Makes 3-3 1/2 cups.