When I roasted a chicken the other day for dinner, I knew that I wanted to combine some of the leftover chicken with barley. The flavours go beautifully together.
And, yes, I do plan my leftovers almost immediately after eating.
Sometimes dishes involving leftovers just materialize immediately and sometimes an idea ruminates for a day or two to finalize. When I also thought that the same earthiness of flavour is in grilled eggplant, I knew which direction I was headed for a salad. I tied the flavours together with another member of the nightshade family, tomatoes, to harmonize the eggplant completely with the rest of the ingredients and a simple salad was born.
Chicken Barley Salad with Eggplant and Tomatoes:
1 cup cooked chicken (from a leftover roast chicken or just grill a breast), shredded
1 cup grilled eggplant, cut into 1cm (1/2″) strips
1/2 cup cooked barley
2 medium tomatoes or 15-18 cherry tomatoes, chopped (or halved if using cherry tomatoes)
2 green onions, finely sliced
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, eggplant, barley, tomatoes and green onions. Toss gently with your fingers to try to keep the delicate grilled eggplant strips intact. Divide over two or three plates. Serves 2-3. Serve at room temperature.