barley salad with nectarines and goat cheese

The GS visited Rochester this weekend for the annual arts and crafts festival/day drinking extravaganza. He also brought a German friend (Jan- pronounced like Yan) that he met while studying abroad, and Jan’s friend Max. This was their first time in America and I think they really enjoyed telling people that they flew all the way from Germany just for Park Ave Fest.

photo courtesy: GS
photo courtesy: GS

They had spent the previous week in NYC, doing all the touristy things that I’ve never actually done. Then they took a bus up to Rochester, and I met them and entertained them (or attempted to) for a couple of hours before the GS arrived from Baltimore.

“There’s a British pub, an Irish pub, and a Belgian beer bar really close by. What are you in the mood for?”

I immediately felt really stupid advertising these restaurants by their European themes, given that I was speaking to actual Europeans.

They picked the Irish pub and we got yelled at by the waitress for breaking some sort of rule about moving after ordering food. Jan threw up his hands adorably and said  “So sorry! We are German!” What’s my excuse?

Then I went to my ultimate back-up plan in any situation, and brought them to Wegmans. They were simultaneously overjoyed and overwhelmed by the beer selection, but picked a growler of local beer.

The cashier was mystified by their German IDs, and seemingly even more so by my Maryland one. “Uh, we only accept New York state licenses.”

Okay. That’s just not true.

She let us buy the beer with a warning that this was a “one time thing.”

After the initial hiccup of me being an awkward hostess, it was a good weekend. We taught them to play flip cup, and they got to try a Rochester garbage plate. I also made chicken wing dip and yummy bars, true American delicacies. After all the drinking and eating unhealthy food, I returned to Wegmans on Sunday (stealthily keeping an eye out for narrow-minded cashier girl) and bought some stuff for a healthy dinner that I’ve been eating all week.

Barley Salad with Nectarines and Goat Cheese

1 cup uncooked barley

3 tbs olive oil

juice of one lemon

10-12 basil leaves, chiffonade

1 garlic clove, minced

thinly sliced red onion (about an inch of the onion)

2 nectarines, sliced

3 oz goat cheese, broken up

salt and pepper to taste

Cook the barley according to directions. Mine was 3 cups of water (or you can use chicken or vegetable stock) to 1 cup uncooked barley, brought to a boil then cooked on low for an hour. You can also sub couscous, quinoa, orzo, or farro in this recipe!

Rinse the barley. Add olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, basil, onion, salt and pepper. At this point I let it sit overnight because I didn’t want the nectarines to get mushy. I added the fruit and the goat cheese right before I served it.

park ave 018

It shouldn’t be surprising that I loved this so much given it’s many of my favorite things in one bowl with some hearty grains. You could probably impress people by bringing this as a side dish to a picnic this summer.

park ave 019

It won’t be as impressive as showing up from Germany, but pretty close.

**Just a public service announcement: after I posted this I received an email from my mom with the subject “Nectarines are to be avoided.” Apparently they may cause listeria? I’ve eaten 4 this week so I’ll let you know. In the mean time, maybe sub in peaches instead?

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