This summer pearl barley salad is bursting with fresh ingredients including cherry tomatoes and cucumber all topped off with a zingy lemon and mint dressing.
This has officially been the summer of salads. I've been trying to eat a little healthier and have discovered some truly amazing salads in the process.
Half way through August already. This summer felt like it was just meandering along at a leisurely pace and then next thing I know it's August and I'm kicking off content planning and recipe development for Autumn 😱
I am really excited for some of the things I've got coming up though. I am going to be going HARD on all your Autumn classic ingredients, think beetroot and butternut squash galore. Plus plenty of soups, stews and generally carbs. You know how I do.
Still, while the sun continues to shine I'm still going to be eating my fair share of healthy salads like this one. In fact, to me, this is the perfect summer salad.
It features some of my all time favourite summer ingredients and then has the most amazing lemon and mint dressing. Mint is my summer herb of choice EVERY. TIME.
Why we love this pearl barley salad:
- It needs just a handful of fresh ingredients to make
- It can be made ahead of time and is great for taking along to summer gatherings and barbecues or just for a light summer lunch or dinner
- It's vegetarian and full of healthy ingredients all dressed in a bright and zesty dressing
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS SUMMER SALAD WITH PEARL BARLEY & FETA:
- Pearl Barley - Just follow the cooking instructions on the packet. Use leftovers in this one pot cheesy pearl barley
- Cucumber - Use any extra in the sesame cucumber on the side of these mushroom bao
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Crumbled Feta - If you love it as much as I do, make sure you try this baked feta too
- Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Olive Oil
Keep scrolling to get the full recipe for this summer salad with pearl barley...
So I use pearl barley in this salad because I think it works so well with all the other ingredients. It's a great carrier of flavour which makes it perfect for a tangy dressing like the lemon and mint one in this salad.
It also has that amazing chewy texture which makes it super filling and I especially love it as a contrast to the feta and the crunchy vegetables. However, if you'd rather use a different grain or even pasta I won't judge you.
You can follow the instructions on the packet for how to cook your pearl barley or use this guide which is how I do it.
How to cook pearl barley on the stovetop:
Simply add the pearl barley to a saucepan with a lid along with 700ml/3 cups stock and a little salt and pepper. Stir then bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot to make sure it doesn’t get too dry and add more stock if necessary. When it’s finished cooking and absorbed all the liquid simply fluff with a fork and serve.
The other important thing about this super simple summer salad is the sun dried tomatoes. Please don't leave them out. They have such a perfect flavour and that tanginess contrasts so well with the freshness of the cucumber and tomato.
Will has an aversion to sun dried tomatoes which is probably the most disappointing thing about our relationship but I add them to things occasionally anyway (see this pressure cooker chicken casserole and this creamy chicken pasta) because i love them so much and he normally puts up with it pretty well.
HOW TO MAKE SUMMER PEARL BARLEY SALAD WITH FETA (STEP BY STEP):
- Cook the pearl barley according to packet instructions, drain and rinse with cold water.
- Place all the dressing ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Add the pearl barley, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, feta, sun dried tomatoes and dressing to a bowl and toss together then serve.
Equipment you need to make this recipe...
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Keep scrolling to get the full printable recipe!
What can be used as a substitute for pearl barley?
If you're not a fan of pearl barley or can't get hold of it then this recipe would work really well with cooked pasta or even another grain like quinoa.
Want more? Try these other summer salad recipes!
- Pearl Couscous with Roasted Vegetables
- Caprese Pasta Salad with Basil Dressing
- Chicken and Mango Salsa Bowls
- Simple Pasta Salad with Balsamic
- Charred Corn Slaw
- Smoky Aubergine Salad with Red Pepper
- Roast Vegetable Salad with Halloumi
- Vegan Pasta Salad with Creamy Tahini Sauce
Summer Salad with Pearl Barley & Feta
- 300 g Pearl Barley cooked according to packet instructions
- ½ Cucumber chopped
- 200 g Cherry Tomatoes halved or quartered
- 200 g Feta crumbled
- 8 Sun Dried Tomatoes chopped
For the Dressing
- 6 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 1 clove Garlic crushed
- Salt and Pepper
- Bunch Parsley
- Bunch Mint Leaves
- Place all of the dressing ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Toss together all the salad ingredients with the dressing and serve.
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