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Warm Pearled Barley and Mushroom Salad with Sliced Flank Steak


For the barley:

  • 1 cup pearled barley

  • 1 large bay leaf

  • 1 small onion, halved

  • Salt

For the steak:

  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak, at room temperature

  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped

  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped

  • Sea salt and pepper

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for brushing

  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • Juice of 1 lemon

For the salad:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 pound mushrooms, such as crimini, coarsely chopped

  • 1 rib celery with leafy top, chopped

  • 2 shallots, chopped

  • A small handful of dried porcini or mixed dried mushrooms, broken into small pieces

  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine or dry sherry

  • 1 1/2 cups veal stock or beef stock

  • 3-4 cups escarole or baby kale, chopped

  • Freshly grated or ground nutmeg

  • Shaved Pecorino Romano cheese, for garnish


In a medium size pot, cover the barley with water and bring to a boil with the bay leaf and onion; salt, to taste. Cook until tender, 20-22 minutes, then drain, discarding the bay leaf and onion.

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan, griddle or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Dress the beef with the rosemary, garlic, sea salt and pepper. Brush with EVOO and grill for 12 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes, then thinly slice. Toss with the chopped parsley and lemon juice.

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons EVOO, three turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook until browned, 10 minutes. Add the celery and shallots and cook, 2-3 minutes. Add the dried mushrooms and deglaze with the Marsala. Add the stock and simmer to soften the dried mushrooms, 8-10 minutes. Add the greens and a grate of nutmeg and cook to wilt. Add the barley and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Top the warm salad with the sliced steak and garnish with the Pecorino Romano.