Cucumber varieties fall into one of three categories. First, there are slicing cucumbers. Next comes pickling cucumbers. And, finally, we’ve got burpless. And tell us – who would choose pickling or slicing when you’ve got a type called burpless? Burpless cucumbers have fewer seeds and a more mild taste than the other varieties. (You might have already tried burpless cucumbers in the form of an English cucumber in our chickpea-cucumber salad or our avocado-cucumber maki.)

These heirloom burpless cucumbers are one of four vegetables that really make this grain salad great. We make and eat a lot of grain salads in the summer, from farro & frisée salad to tabbouleh. With a grain as their base, these salads hit a perfect balance between being light and leaving you totally satisfied.

To make this barley number, we chose four gorgeous vegetables to start: wax beans, healthful yellow beets, a big red onion, and the infamous burpless cucumber. We took those ingredients, prepped and trimmed them, and then threw them into a big mixing bowl with barley–a nutrient-rich, quick-cooking grain that adds chewiness and heft to the salad.

After we dress the salad and arrange the pretty yellow beets on top, we add the final touch: shavings of pecorino cheese. Pecorino Romano adds nuttiness and an extra point of umami to the crunchy, crispy cucumbers and summery wax beans.

We’re happy to be participating in Food Network’s Summer Fest, a weekly blog tour of all the incredible produce we’ll be enjoying this summer. This week, the topic is cucumbers. You can see the other bloggers’ delicious cucumber creations by following the links below.

The Lemon Bowl: Japanese Quick Pickled Cucumbers
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Burmese Cucumber Watermelon Composed Salad
Domesticate Me: California Salad with Roasted Chicken and Avocado Dressing
Taste With The Eyes: Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi with Shrimp and Minari
Devour: Cucumber and Mint Lemonade 
Haute Apple Pie: Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spicy Cucumber, Carrot and Onion Refrigerator Pickles
Red or Green: Spicy Cucumber Gazpacho
Virtually Homemade: Cucumber Tomato Bruschetta
Food for 7 Stages of Life: Neer Mor — Zested South Indian Buttermilk with Cucumber
Weelicious: Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches
Blue Apron Blog: Barley Salad with Heirloom Cucumbers & Golden Beets
The Sensitive Epicure: Pimm’s Cups and Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
FN Dish: Pickles Past the Jar