Barley Bowl

September 26, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

This is my own grain salad recipe that combines vegetables, cheese, and hearty barley for a healthy lunch. - katiebakes —katiebakes

Test Kitchen Notes

Since first noticing the recipe, I've made three versions of it, using what I had on hand at the time. I've served it to three different sets of people and shared a spoonful of it with a couple of co-workers, and I had to e-mail the link to this recipe to all of them. We all love the chewy, crunchy and soft textures and the salty, sour heat. And because it's more nutritious, refreshing and exciting than pasta salad, this is what we'll be bringing to picnics and backyard potlucks this summer. Once, I was out of cucumber, so I substituted sliced celery; I've added chopped Roma tomatoes instead of cherry (I prefer the natural sweetness that cherry tomatoes add, however); and I never have champagne vinegar, so I use white wine vinegar in its place. - betteirene —betteirene

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup hulled barley
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup finely diced seeded cucumber
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced fresh mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon high-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large saucepan, bring 3 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add barley, cover and simmer 40 minutes. Remove lid and continue simmering 15 minutes longer, or until barley is soft but still chewy. Drain, rinse, and pat dry.
  2. In a large bowl, combine barley, jalapeno, and next 5 ingredients.
  3. Whisk together olive oil and remaining ingredients and add to barley mixture, stirring well to combine.
  4. Serve immediately or chilled.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • susan g
    susan g
  • Jennifer Ann
    Jennifer Ann
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • JoanG
  • luvcookbooks

14 Reviews

susan G. October 21, 2014
When I first made this it had recently been posted. I made plenty of the base, so I added other ingredients in as I went along, each time making it a little different, and each time more tasty! I give credit to the marinade ripening. My favorite tweak was to add some cumin along with the vegetables. I am having guests in 5 days, and making the base today for that maturity factor.
Jenb42 January 3, 2012
This is absolutely fantastic. I like the idea of grain salads, but they always seem to turn out heavy, or boring, or greasy. This recipe is none of the above! Perfect for work lunches. I made it with extra cucumber, added some roasted red peppers, and used some goat feta instead of chevre. Also subbed rice vinegar for champagne vinegar. I will be making variations of this for a long time to come- thank you!
Jenb42 January 3, 2012
Oops, I meant instead of mozzarella.
katiebakes January 4, 2012
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! =) Your changes sounds most delicious!
drkate October 22, 2011
This is delicious, even without the cheese! Thank you!
katiebakes October 23, 2011
I'm so glad you enjoyed it =)
Jennifer A. September 28, 2010
Looks wonderful. I like that it could be good cold or at room temperature (a perfect packable lunch)
katiebakes September 28, 2010
Thank you! I think it was equally as good cold as at room temperature, so it does make for a perfect brown-bag lunch. Especially if you love healthy grain salads!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 28, 2010
This looks great!
katiebakes September 28, 2010
JoanG September 27, 2010
I have all the ingredients to try this except the mozzarella. Will substitue goat feta. looks great!
katiebakes September 27, 2010
Goat feta would be delicious! Hope you enjoy!
luvcookbooks September 26, 2010
beautiful photo, great looking recipe
katiebakes September 26, 2010