A quick and delicious summer barley salad recipe with zucchini, tomatoes and feta cheese to celebrate the end of summer.
I made this summer barley salad about a week ago and figured I better post about it soon before the title becomes a little obsolete!
If you’re anything like me, you still have a few zucchini on hand even though pumpkin and butternut squash are slowly taking over your thoughts day by day.
If so, I implore you to make this “salad.”
You won’t be disappointed.
Barley is one of my favorite “new” grains. I say “new” because prior to last year I had never cooked it myself.
It seemed intimidating and something I’d only find in soups and dishes at a restaurant. That couldn’t be further from the truth though.
You can cook barley the same way you do rice, 2:1 water to grain. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the liquid is absorbed.
It has a fun chewy texture that beats out brown rice any day in my opinion. In the fall, I love it paired with pumpkin and sausage as a creamy risotto-like meal and in warmer months, it also goes well with mango, avocado and sprouts for a lighter grain salad.
At first, I was going to make this as a side dish for dinner (I made it at lunch time) and then I tasted it once it was all combined and knew there was no way I was going to be able to hold out that long.
So I said peace out to the boring hummus sandwich I had planned on and instead sautéed up some frozen shrimp for added protein and called it lunch.
I seriously could not stop eating this barley salad.
The lemony dressing gives it a tangy taste but the feta keeps it salty. Somehow, that combination works wonderfully.
If you’re too impatient to let the barley completely cool before combining everything like me, the cheese will slightly melt making it even more delicious.
Ulysses had the rest for dinner when he came home that night and it was gone in no more than 6 hours.
I suggest at least doubling the recipe so the same tragedy doesn’t repeat itself.
What’s your favorite and/or go-to grain?
- 1/2 cup barley
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 zucchini chopped
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- juice of half a lemon
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Cook barley on stove top. I cook it like rice with a 2:1 water to grain ratio.
- While barley is cooking, chop zucchini & saute in pan with olive oil for about 3-4 minutes just to take the “rawness” out.
- Slice tomatoes in half.
- Prepare dressing in a small bowl by whisking together lemon juice, olive oil and salt & pepper. Combine zucchini, tomatoes and feta cheese in medium bowl.
- Once barley is fully cooked, drain and let cool for a few minutes.
- Once slightly cooled, add it to the bowl with the vegetables and feta.
- Season liberally with salt & pepper to taste.
- Pour dressing over the top and toss to combine.
- Serve warm or cold.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.