Barley and Lentil Herbed Salad

barley lentil salad

Although I adore barley, I don't tend to cook with this ancient grain very often, and that is a shame because not only it is rich in fiber and protein and relatively cheap at that, it also has a lovely chewy texture and nutty flavor that makes it a popular choice for soups and salads. Here it is transformed into a substantial and nourishing salad that might just become a summer favorite of mine, though it is delicious anytime of year.

There is lots going on in this dish and it all comes together in a seamless way. The addition of earthy lentils balances out the proteins, and then fresh herbs are added along with fresh tomato. Then this beautiful combination of goodness is enhanced by the highly complementary nutty taste of tahini, fresh tart lemon juice, a wee bit of spice and sweetness, and some saltiness from olives and tamari. I will note that this is a great way to take advantage of fresh herbs from your garden and if you are lucky enough to be growing tomatoes, they will add an extra fresh layer of flavor to the plate.

Take care when adding sea salt to the dish as the olives and tamari are fairly salty and you don't want to overpower your dish with an excess of sodium. Serve with fresh salad greens and some flatbreads to really dress up the experience.

Barley and Lentil Herbed SaladBarley and Lentil Herbed Salad
Recipe by
Published on June 9, 2013

Beautiful summer salad with earthy lentils, nutty pearl barley, fresh herbs, tomatoes and olives tossed in a creamy and lightly spiced tahini and lemon dressing

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  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed
  • 2 generous handfuls of parsley or cilantro or both, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch or large handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 firm tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup black olives, pitted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons tahini
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • a few splashes of tamari (soy) sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • a few sprinkles of dried red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable stock or water to a boil. Stir in the barley, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the liquid is absorbed — about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside.

  • In another small saucepan, bring the lentils to a boil with enough water to cover, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the lentils are tender — about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, tamari, ground cumin, chili powder, chili flakes and honey.

  • Combine the cooked barley and lentils, herbs, scallions and tomato and toss with the dressing. Stir in the olives and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

  • Stir in the tahini and season with salt and pepper. Serve cool or at room temperature.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
barley lentil herb salad

More barley recipes you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Anooshavoor (Turkish Barley and Apricot Porridge)
Barley Porridge with Honeyed Almonds and Roasted Apples
Mesopotamian Barley, Chickpea, Lentil, Tahini Soup
Mango Barley Porridge with Blackberries

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1 comment:

Priya Suresh said...

Incredible and nutritious salad.