Grains like quinoa, farro, bulgur, and barley are super versatile and can be eaten as a side dish, added to soups, and as salad. Beautiful salads like this one are one of my favorite ways to enjoy whole grains. Whole grains are rich in fiber and many are a good source of protein and many other important nutrients. See how your favorites stack up at the Whole Grain Council’s webpage here.
This salad is really a great format for any whole grain. If you don’t have barley, or you don’t like it, swap another. Add fresh tomatoes when they’re in season. Bump up the herbs by adding fresh mint too. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice would also be great. This is perfect for any meal, but would be especially fantastic for a picnic.
Greek-style Barley Salad
- 1 cup barley
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 English cucumber, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
- 2 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 2 Tbs red onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
Cook the barley in the stock at a simmer for about 45 minutes (or use a rice cooker like I did!). Meanwhile, prepare all other ingredients and toss together in a large bowl. Add the barley while still warm and toss together well. Serve warm, at room temperature or even cold!