This herbed barley salad is bursting with fresh ingredients including dill, parsley mint, and sweet-tart pomegranate and is tossed in a zingy lemon dressing. Toasted almonds add crunch and crumbled feta adds a flavour impact with its salty, tangy, briny flavour. Together, so tasty!
I have officially entered into a vicious and delicious cycle of grain salads. The last couple weeks have been all about pear barley salads, spelt salads, quinoa salads. I love them so much—they’re healthy, hearty, easy to make and are so very versatile. And they are the perfect kind of salad, even for summer — you can pack them with fresh and flavourful summer herbs.
Pearl barley: a great choice for grain salads
Pearled barley is one of my favourite grains for salad. It’s quick and easy to prepare and has a delicious chew to it. I really recommend it for grain salads. Other substitutions that work really well are quick-cooking spelt or Grünkern. Or if you are looking for a gluten-free alternative try quinoa. Each bring their own unique texture, taste and nutritional profile into the mix.
What to serve with this herbed pearl barley salad
This salad make a great side dish or even main meal salad. Free free to serve alongside grilled chicken or fish, roasted vegetables or even a green salad or a simple tomato salad made with fresh basil and capers.
Looking for other ideas with barley?
Try one of these delicious recipes:
- Pearl Barley Salad With Roasted Carrots
- Barley Risotto with Feta and Kale
- Barley Bowl with Lemon-Spinach Pesto
Herbed Barley Salad with Feta
For the salad:
- 1 cup pearl barley (200 g)
- 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 small bunch dill, chopped
- handful mint leaves, chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
- 100 g feta, crumbled
- seeds from half a pomegranate
- 25 g slivered almonds, lightly toasted (3 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon ground sumac (optional)
For the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cook the barley in 3 x water for 30 minutes (according to package instructions). Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large serving bowl and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, garlic clove, maple syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk together until emulsified.
Add the parsley, dill and mint to the bowl with the cooled barley. Toss to combine. Pour over the dressing and toss again. Finally add the feta, pomegranate seeds, almonds and sumac (if using) and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper, to taste. Serve and enjoy!
- I use equal parts parsley and dill for this recipe, so the bunches should be around the same size.
- A great way to revive leftovers (and make them more interesting) is to add some shredded red cabbage, radish sprouts and an extra squeeze of lemon.
- Sumac can be found in middle eastern or Turkish shops. Or online. It adds a terrific tart flavor, somewhat similar to lemon.
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