Please consult the OU's guidelines for checking fruits and vegetables.

Warm Barley, Chicken, and Fig Salad
Warm Barley, Chicken, and Fig Salad Eileen Goltz | Meat
1 hour, 40 minutes 40 minutes
1 hour
6 to 8 servings

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 bunch fresh lemon thyme
  • 1 chili or other spicy chili
  • 1 Tablespoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 4 scallions
  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb. fresh figs

  1. Quarter onion & figs. Set figs aside. Halve chili lengthwise and remove seeds.
  2. Bring water, onion, thyme, chili, pepper, and garlic to a gentle simmer in a medium pot. Add the chicken, and simmer until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, and let cool slightly.
  3. Bring poaching liquid to a boil, and cook until reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium saucepan and discard the solids. Bring liquid to a boil. Add barley, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, and let cool.
  4. Shred chicken into bite-size pieces and thinly slice scallions diagonally.
  5. Toss chicken with barley, scallions, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Gently stir in figs, and serve immediately.


DESCRIPTION: Fresh chives, basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme are often used as spices or garnishing.

Please Note: Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used.

INFESTATION: Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.

Vegetable spinners, power hoses, and light boxes are not always available in the home. We therefore recommend the following alternate procedure.

RECOMMENDATION: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs it should not be used.


  1. Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated unscented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
  2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
  3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
  4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
  5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
  6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.

Please note: To prepare herbs such as cilantro, dill, or parsley for use in soups, wash them thoroughly and place in a cooking bag.