07/25/2012 12:24 EDT | Updated 09/24/2012 05:12 EDT

Spice up warm barley salad with Thai seasonings for a delicious summer side dish

If you love the combo of sweet, salty, sour and spicy (which makes up classic Thai food), then try this salad.

For more heat, add more chili garlic sauce to the dressing.

All of the Thai ingredients can be found in large supermarkets or Asian grocery stores.

Thai Barley Salad

175 ml (3/4 cup) pearl barley

30 ml (2 tbsp) each lime juice and unseasoned rice vinegar

15 ml (1 tbsp) hot Asian chili garlic sauce

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) each fish sauce and granulated sugar

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

30 ml (2 tbsp) vegetable oil

2 locally grown peaches or nectarines

1 sweet red pepper

2 green onions, thinly sliced

500 ml (2 cups) baby spinach or mesclun greens

250 ml (1 cup) bean sprouts

50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped fresh mint

In a medium saucepan, bring 625 ml (2 1/2 cups) lightly salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, rinse barley; add to boiling water. Cover and simmer until tender but still slightly chewy, about 25 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well, then place in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, vinegar, chili garlic sauce, fish sauce, sugar and salt until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in oil.

Cut peaches (only if serving right away) and red pepper into 2-cm (3/4-inch) pieces. Add to barley along with green onions, spinach, bean sprouts and mint. Drizzle with as much dressing as needed to coat. Toss to combine.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 160 calories; 5 g fat; 3 g protein; 27 g carbohydrate; 4 g fibre.

Source: Foodland Ontario.