Ever since I made this mushroom barley risotto I have been in love with barley.
I had this weird notion in my head that I didn’t like barley because I had only ever had it in soups I didn’t like. I was very wrong, it’s delicious!
Its got a great chewing texture, it’s super filling and it’s cheap! Which makes it a great option for a grain salad to pack for weekday lunches — or freeze in single serve portions if you don’t like eating the same thing every day. I am a huge fan of keeping single servings of meals in the freezer to grab on my way out the door.
Feel free to give this recipe your own flair by adding olives, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichokes, pickled beets or whatever suits your fancy.
Gold Star Nutrient: 1/2 a cup of cooked lentils has almost half your daily requirement for folate, which helps make red blood cells.
- ½ cup green lentils, dry
- ½ cup pot barley
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ¾ cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup spinach, packed
- ¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- ¼ small purple onion, finely chopped
- fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp grainy mustard
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Put the lentils, barley and whole garlic cloves (I actually used 3 but I LOVE garlic) in a medium pot and add water to cover by a couple inches; bring to a boil and cook for 45 min, or until tender.
- Drain well, discard the garlic cloves (or eat them on a cracker! mmm), and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl combine cooled lentils and barley and all the other salad ingredients.
- Shake the dressing in a small jar or whisk in a bowl, pour desired amount of dressing over salad and toss.
- Note: this dressing recipe makes much more dressing than I use personally but I generally don't like a lot, so dress it with less if your tastes match mine and save the rest in the fridge for other purposes.