Pearl Barley Salad with Green Beans


The soothing grains of barley are a perfect balance for the tart lemon and roast garlic dressing in this refreshing salad. Serve with crisp, fresh green beans and sweet cherry tomatoes.



How to Cook Pearl Barley

  1. Rinse the barley and drain.
  2. Cover with 3 times the volume of water in a pot which has a lid.
  3. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a steady simmer. Place the lid and cook for about 25 minutes or until the grains have absorbed the liquid.Some adjustments may be needed for the water; depending on how creamy you want it.Cooked barley should have a chewy bite to it. If there is excess starch then the cooked barley can be rinsed to remove it.

Pearl Barley Salad with Green Beans

  1. Let’s start first with the marinade as this takes the longest.
    Finely slice or chop the onion and leave to marinate for about an hour in the vinegar, lemon juice and salt.
  2. Cook the barley as described above. Leave aside to drain and cool in a large sieve.
  3. While the barley is cooking, dry roast the garlic in a moderate oven for about 15 minutes.
  4. 5 minutes before the garlic is done, throw in the tomatoes to lightly roast; just until their skins begin to burst.
  5. Blanche the beans for about 1 minute and cool them immediately in a bowl of ice cold water before draining. They should retain a crisp ‘bite’.
  6. Returning to the marinade now, we’re going to make a dressing.
    To prepare the dressing, start by combining the marinade fluid with the olive oil and honey in a small dish.
  7. Peel and mash the soft roasted garlic and whisk this into the dressing. Season with a few twists of ground black pepper.
  8. Combine and arrange all the ingredients; including the previously sieved out onions, leaving the dressing to apply just before serving.
  9. Enjoy!

This pearl barley salad with green beans is a simple yet hearty dish that can be eaten as is, or paired with add-ons.
As its name suggests, pearl barley is the barley grain that has had its tough outer hull removed and its bran layer polished away. This process leaves a smooth whitish grain.
It cooks quicker than the hulled variety (which still retains its bran) and has a soft creamy texture. As a result, it lends itself well to soups and risottos. Fun Fact: Pearl barley is commonly used in salads in Italy.

This pearl barley salad, in particular, combines fresh green beans and sweet cherry tomatoes. In addition to these flavours, we have tart lemon and roasted garlic coming through in the dressing.

If you’re keen to try another dish using pearl barley, try out this Spiced Pearl Barley with Swiss Chard.

pearl barley salad with green beans
pearl barley salad with green beans
Barley salad marinade


Onions are loaded with antioxidants. They’re fantastic for your overall health, from heart, circulation, skin, eye and digestive health. Plus, onions are inexpensive, highly convenient vegetables that can help you meet the recommended daily intake of fruit and veggies.

Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries for all sorts of ailments and health-boosting benefits. These range from:

  • improving digestion
  • alleviating blocked sinuses
  • reducing blood sugar levels
  • aiding the lymphatic system to clear out toxins
  • providing relief from bloating, reflux and heartburn
  • even eliminating body odour
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