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Spring Barley Salad

By Judith Hausman, Urban Farm contributor

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Photo by Judith Hausman

This late season dish will let you enjoy one last taste of spring.

Grain salads are flexible and simple as light lunches or substantial side dishes. The toothsome texture of barley, quinoa and cracked wheat nicely set off tender new vegetables and can showcase any herbs or dressings. 

I love a lemony dressing to brighten the earthy grain flavors, too. Cook the grain when the day is still cool, and add the goodies and about half the dressing while it’s still warm and absorbing. Later, at any time, you can toss in more additions (such as nuts, seeds or cheese) and freshen up the salad with a little more dressing. 

Interesting additions include diced, dried apricots, chopped pecans or almonds, parsley or tarragon, chopped fennel, mushrooms, red onion or scallions, crumbled feta cheese, olives, or cherry tomatoes.

Serves 6 to 8.


  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or part water)
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 3 radishes, chopped
  • 3/4 cup small peas, fresh or frozen
  • small bunch red grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon dill weed, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Bring the broth/water to a boil, and add barley. Turn down the heat to simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, at least 30 minutes. Fluff the barley with a fork. 

Let cool somewhat, but add the carrots, radishes and peas, grapes, half of the olive oil and lemon juice, the zest and the dill weed while the barley is still slightly warm. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Then, chill completely. 

Toss the barley with the remaining lemon juice and oil just before serving. 


You might also enjoy these Locavore Recipes:

White Bean Salad

Summer Salad

Read more of Locavore Recipes »

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About the Blogger

Judith Hausman

Judith Hausman
As a long-time freelance food writer, Judith Hausman has written about every aspect of food, but local producers and artisanal traditions remain closest to her heart. Eating close to home takes this seasonal eater through a journey of delights and dilemmas, one tiny deck garden, farmers’ market discovery and easy-as-pie recipe at a time. She writes from a still-bucolic but ever-more-suburban town in the New York City 'burbs.

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