This barley salad with herbs and lemon will expand your grain horizon!
I used to think of barley as a winter staple, in warm stews with mushrooms and carrots, or as a nice sticky “risotto”… When it cools down, barley becomes a gluey mush and therefore, it never occurred to me to use it in a salad.
Until I stumbled one day upon a recipe that called for cooking the barley in a lot of water like pasta in order to remove the sticky starch. I decided to give it a try and that was a revelation!
Barley is a very healthy grain loaded with fiber, potassium and folate. It’s also high in fiber, which is responsible for most of its health benefits. It promotes a better digestion, helps reduce cholesterol and may offer protection from chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and even certain types of cancer.
To reap the most benefits, avoid processed, pearled barley and stick to whole-grain varieties like hulled barley. Here is where I get mine: https://amzn.to/3gg4cKV
This delicious barley salad combines the chewy earthiness of barley with a bright lemon flavor and a bit of crunch from carrots that will leave you craving for more.
A few tips:
- If you can’t find whole grain barley, pearled barley will work fine in this recipe. It has slightly fewer nutrients but it has the advantage of cooking faster. Make sure you follow the cooking time indicated on the package.
- You can add a can of cooked beans to this barley salad with herbs and lemon to make this a complete meal (cannellini or chickpeas would work very well).
- This will keep a few days in the refrigerator.
- Feel free to use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. This is what I happened to have that day and it turned out perfect!
Give it a try!
For other salad recipes, check out:
Barley salad with herbs and lemon
- Place 6 quarts of water in a large pot, add barley and 1 tbsp salt. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce and cook for 45 minutes (follow instructions on barley package as cooking times can vary per brand).
- While barley cooks, grate the zest of the lemon over a large bowl.
- Add lemon juice, mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 3 tbsp olive oil. Whisk gently.
- Add 1/4 cup chopped red onion and set aside.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once barley is cooked, drain it thoroughly and spread it into the baking sheet to let it cool down.
- Slice scallions, chop parsley, cilantro or any other herb you want to use.
- Slice carrots very thin.
- Add cooled barley to the dressing in the bowl, stir gently.
- Add scallions, herbs and carrots, and mix throughly.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.