Traditional recipes

Barley salad recipe

Barley salad recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Grain salad

This salad is influenced from the flavours of the Mediterranean. Refreshing, light and perfect for summer barbecues.

49 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 180g pearl barley
  • 600ml water
  • 7 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 25g finely chopped coriander
  • 75g chopped black olives
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:30min ›Extra time:4hr chilling › Ready in:4hr45min

  1. Bring barley and water to the boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the barley is tender, but still slightly firm in the centre, about 30 minutes. Drain and cool to room temperature in a bowl.
  2. Puree the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a liquidiser until smooth. Pour over the barley. Fold in the coriander, olives and remaining olive oil until blended. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Stir before serving.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(58)

Reviews in English (45)

by philosophia

This salad is okay, but I don't like black olives and I thought it was missing something. I substituted Kalamata olives for the black olives, used basil instead of cilantro, and added chopped cucumber. You can also add a can of garbanzo beans to make it a vegetarian main dish. We topped with feta cheese, for a real Mediterranean flair. With the modifications, it was great!-21 Jul 2008

by Patricia Pool Gillogly

This is a very good healthy salad. I decided to get "creative", and I added a large spoonful of a great artichoke tapenade (Gertie's) that I got at was a huge jar & I was looking for more ways to use it up. The second time I made this salad I used roasted red peppers (in the jar) in place of the dried tomatoes in the dressing. Yum, yum. A great salad to experiment with!-24 Apr 2008

by Wayne

Excellent salad. Someone mentioned having the feeling that something was missing. I agree, I added a 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese and a little bit of salt and it worked great for me.-01 Dec 2008

Barley Salad

Barley is one of those often forgotten about grains. It is full of fiber and has a great, nutty flavor. It is very versatile! Barley is often used as a cereal grain or in a soup, but it can also be a great addition to casseroles or used as a side dish.

In addition to FIBER, barley is also a great source if niacin, which is a B-vitamin. Niacin can reduce platelet aggregation and can also help to reduce cholesterol levels.


  • 1-¾ cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Quick Barley, Raw
  • ¼ cups Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • ½ Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons White Wine (optional)
  • ½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cups Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • ¼ cups Green Onion, Chopped
  • ¼ cups Cucumber, Peeled, Seeded, And Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint, Chopped
  • ¼ cups Reduced Fat Feta, Crumbled


Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add quick barley and reduce heat to simmer, and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until barley is tender. Drain excess broth if needed. Transfer barley to a medium bowl.

In small bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, white wine, garlic powder, and salt. Add dressing to barley and stir in tomatoes, onion, cucumber, mint, and feta cheese.

Nutrition Information per 1/2 cup serving: 224 calories, 11 g fat, 7 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber

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3 Reviews

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Kelly on 8.20.2017

This had great flavor, although I would probably use a different grain next time like bulgur.

Gochelsie1 on 9.16.2012

Nerdycool on 1.22.2012

I had half a box of barley just sitting in my cupboard so I tried this… fantastic! I had a number of omissions though. I had to leave out the wine because I am pregnant, and I left out the balsamic vinegar, green onions and mint simply because some in our house don’t care for them. Our barley also was the long-cooking kind, so I had to adjust the cooking time and amounts of liquid & barley according to the box. With all that though, it was a big hit! My favorite part is running across a chunk of feta and tomato in the same bite! I can easily see this becoming a staple summer side dish when chilled, as well as a warm filling side during the winter. So versatile!

Barley Salad

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 45 M
  • 6 to 8 servings


  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup black barley
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño chile, seeds and ribs removed
  • 2 cups roughly chopped baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon za'atar (see Note)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped scallions, white and light green parts
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup diced feta cheese
  • 1 cup finely diced cucumber
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Rinse the pearl barley and black barley in two separate strainers under cold running water for 5 minutes. Pat dry and keep separate. Fill two separate pots with 1 quart salted water. Add the black barley to one and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add the pearl barley to the other and cook for 45 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Strain each and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, pine nuts, and jalapeño and saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and za’atar and cook until the spinach has wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.

Combine the remaining olive oil, the pearl barley, black barley, spinach mixture, tomatoes, scallions, lime juice, parsley, feta, cucumber, onion, vinegar, olives, and mint in a large salad bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Note: Za’atar is one of my favorite spice blends. North African in origin, it has citrusy notes that add a bright jolt of flavor. Look for premixed blends in African markets, spice shops, or online.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This will be my new standby for healthy, portable lunches. All of these ingredients naturally play well with each other and can often be found in similar salad-y recipes, but this one is special because of the combination of the nutty, vinegary, and fresh citrusy flavors. While looking for black barley (which I couldn’t find), I meant to pick up pre-made za’atar, which I forgot. So, I made my own, according to some recipes I referenced. The salad is still plenty colorful, even without the black barley. Delicious.

This salad is absolutely delicious! It’s very easy to put together and the flavors are fabulous. I didn’t have black barley so I just used double the amount of regular barley. I also didn’t have spinach but had lots of arugula so I used that. I like spicy food, so I didn’t remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno. The heat wasn’t overpowering. The different textures and flavors make this a salad I’ll cook again and again. You might want to double the recipe if you’re making this for more than two people because chances are you’ll want leftovers. Great for take-to-work lunches.

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Inspired by the flavors of Egypt, this gorgeous barley salad is adorned with feta, scallions, pistachios, raisins and pomegranate seeds.


  • 1-1/2 cups pearl barley (do not substitute hulled barley or hull-less barley)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (parsley may be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios or walnuts, chopped coarse
  • 4 oz feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced (you'll need 4 to 6 scallions)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds


  1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add barley and 1 tablespoon salt, return to boil, and cook until tender, about 45 minutes, or according to package instructions. Drain barley, spread onto rimmed baking sheet, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. Add the barley, cilantro, raisins, and pistachios (or walnuts) and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread barley salad evenly on serving platter and arrange feta, scallions, and pomegranate seeds in separate diagonal rows on top. Drizzle with extra oil and serve.
  4. Make Ahead: The cooked barley and vinaigrette can be refrigerated separately for up to 3 days. To serve, bring barley and vinaigrette to room temperature, whisk vinaigrette to recombine, and continue with step 3, seasoning to taste as necessary. Dressed salad can be held up to 2 hours at room temperature before serving.
  5. Note: Pomegranate molasses is sold at some large grocers, Whole Foods or Middle Eastern markets. You can also buy it online.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Calories: 326
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 44 g
  • Sugar: 15 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Sodium: 212 mg
  • Cholesterol: 13 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Black Barley Salad

Prepare the barley: start the night before by soaking the grain overnight in cold water. Drain the grains and place into a saucepan Cover with enough cold water to rise a couple of inches above the grains. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the grains are tender, about 40 minutes, adding more water if necessary to keep the barley covered while cooking. Drain and rinse the grains under cold water to remove any excess starch. Lay out on a half sheet tray or cookie sheet to cool and continue to dry for 20 minutes.

Make the vinaigrette: using a microplane, grate the garlic clove. Stir the garlic and the remaining ingredients besides the oil together in small bowl. Let sit for at least 1 hour for the flavors to develop and the garlic to soften. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Toss the cooked barley with just enough of the vinaigrette in a large bowl to coat the grains. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the grains to absorb the dressing. Toss in the remaining ingredients. Taste the salad and season with more dressing, salt, and pepper to taste.

About Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a bulgur salad that originated in the Middle East. However, it has gained world popularity due to its fresh flavours. The original version includes bulgur, fresh parsley, tomato, and mint. Meanwhile, the dressing is often a combination of olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

Bulgur is a grain that doesn’t require cooking. All it needs is a soak in some water to hydrate it before use.

This vegetarian salad often makes up part of a meal of small dishes, called mezze. Other foods like this include dips like hummus and baba ghanoush along with pita bread, although there are so many of these dishes to choose from. Today, tabbouleh salad is widely popular in the Western world and enjoyed as a side salad alongside items like grilled meat, seafood, and other salads.


    • 1 1/2 pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 3/4 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 cup chopped scallion (from 1 bunch)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
    • 1 1/4 cups pearl barley (8 oz)
    • 1 (14-oz) can reduced-sodium chicken broth (1 3/4 cups)
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, quartered
    • 1/3 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and halved
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and drained if desired
    • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
    • Accompaniment: 1 (1/2-lb) piece ricotta salata, cut crosswise into thin slices

How to Make Copycat Costco Tuscan Bean & Barley Salad:

  1. Rinse the dried barley, and add it and the water to the rice cooker. Cook on ‘Grain’ Mode or ‘High’ for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the rice cooker auto stops.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, navy beans, parsley, tomato, bell peppers, and chopped onion. Add the barley to the bowl.
  3. For the dressing, add all dressing ingredients to a blender, and blend on high until smooth. Taste and add additional salt or pepper if needed.
  4. Pour dressing over salad, and stir to combine.
  5. Store in an airtight container, and eat within 5 days.

Egyptian Barley Salad


  • 1.5 cups pearl barley (do not substitute hulled barley or hull-less barley)
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped coarse
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (¾ cup)
  • 6 scallions, green parts only, sliced thin
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin


Cook barley according to package instructions, as brands may differ or try ATK’s instructions: Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add barley and 1 tablespoon salt, return to boil, and cook until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. Drain barley, spread onto rimmed baking sheet, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Whisk oil, molasses, cinnamon, cumin, and ½ teaspoon salt together in large bowl.

Add barley, raisins, cilantro, and pistachios and gently toss to combine.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread barley salad evenly on serving platter and arrange feta, scallions, and pomegranate seeds in separate diagonal rows on top.