I created this salad last summer when I wanted something made with barley (had a diabetic visiting) and other delicious vegetables. I went with a Mediterranean flare and it worked. After several tweaks along the way, I think I have it the way I want it.
The salad is extremely versatile-- you can use it as a main dish or a side. Eat it warm, room temp, or chilled. Eat it in a bowl, in a pita, or on a plate. It's quick and easy and tastes so fresh you'll be wishing you had an unlimited supply of it in your fridge (although, I will say, it does tend to taste better the next day).
Bring it to your next picnic or BBQ and see how fast it disappears. This dish keeps for a couple days, so it's very easy to make ahead. It's also easy to prepare in steps.
We love eating this with a good green salad and a bowl-full of chilled purred vegetable soup.
Mediterranean Barley Salad
Serves 4-6 (7 cups)
Active time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serving Suggestions: Serve with a summer gazpacho and garden salad.
What you'll need:
- 1 cup pearled barley + 2 1/2 cups broth OR water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 TBLS balsamic vinegar
- 2 TBLS olive oil OR garbanzo liquid
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (about 20 leaves) OR 2 TBLS dry
- 3/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 6 oz can pitted black olives, drained and sliced in half
- 1 jarred red pepper, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- salt and pepper to taste
- Feta cheese crumbles (optional)
What you'll do:
- Cook barley.
- Meanwhile, puree garlic, vinegar, olive oil and tomatoes in a food processor to form a dressing.
- When barley is done, transfer to a bowl and stir in dressing.
- Stir in all other ingredients until evenly combined.
- Sprinkle individual servings with feta if desired.
Cook barley ahead of timeChop and dice everything while barley is cooking