Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Barley Salad with Kalamata Olives and Tomatoes

I found this recipe in the Real Food Daily cookbook by Ann Gentry. I highly recommend the book - it is packed full of amazing, inspiring cooking ideas...

This was my first experience working with barley, which is a great source of fiber and protein and is super simple to prepare. This salad is full of so many fresh, delicious ingredients. It is good warm, room temperature, or cold, and you can literally feel yourself getting healthier as you eat it.

In the book it is called "Athena Barley with Kalamata Olives and Tomatoes"

3 cups water
2 cups pearl barley
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

3-4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
3/4 cup diced red onion
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2/3 cup finely chopped green onions
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp dried oregano

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

The barley part is mad simple - put the barley and water with salt on high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or so. It will absorb the water and become nice and fluffy.

After the barley begins simmering, get to work on chopping and dicing, as there is quite a bit of prep needed the get the other ingredients ready. I put the red and green onions together in a bowl, the dill and parsley together, and kept the tomatoes and olives on the cutting board.

Once the barley is cooked, transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano, and pour the blend over the barley and toss to coat well. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, mixing together as you go. Grind some black pepper over the top of everything and mix, and it's finished! I found the barley to be nicely salted from the water I prepared it in, but you may wish to add some salt.

The lemon/olive oil/oregano vinaigrette and the fresh herbs and veggies make this a perfect, fresh side dish. Enjoy... And get the book!


  1. that looks deliciously simple! i think i have everything for that on hand, minus the barley. i'm sure it would be awesome with any grain. i'll try some quinoa.

  2. Mmmmm this looks and sounds delicous! Actually made my stomach rumble after I read it.. looks like I'm going to have to try this one ;)

  3. I feel healthier just looking at it! yum!!!!

  4. health rules. barley is cool too because it's in beer.

  5. This was the best! I loved it when you made it for my dinner party and I am making it today for an xmas party!!! miss you world traveler!

  6. i ate this and it was AMAZING! i brought it to work with me and really enjoyed my lunch break :D thanks for brighting up my day

  7. glad to hear you enjoyed! it really is such a good dish. thx for stopping by :)

  8. I also have the RFD cookbook. I have been staring at this recipe for years now (literally)... finally made it! DELICIOUS!!! I halved the recipe and it made the perfect amount for one person for a few meals. I divided the dressing and added it before I ate each portion. TRY this recipe and you will NOT be disappointed! I promise!!