Herbed Black Barley with Peas & Cucumbers

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At least once a week, I make some type of grain bowl.  A one pot meal based on a whole grain – barley, farro, quinoa or millet – with a variety of random veggies, beans or lentils, nuts and some type of light dressing.  It’s easy, simple and makes enough for Dario and I to have leftovers for lunch the next day.

black barley, barley salad, pea salad, vegetarian salads, spring dinners, no cook diners

black barley, barley salad, pea salad, vegetarian salads, spring dinners, no cook diners Most of the time, I end up making grain bowls because I’ve completely run out of other ideas for dinner.  Or I need to use up a bunch of veggies in one meal.  Either way, we’ve come to love these types of dinners!  This one in particular features a unique grain – black barley.  Exactly the same as regular barley, but still has the hull which makes it wonderfully chewy and filling.  And it’s black…which is cool!

black barley, barley salad, pea salad, vegetarian salads, spring dinners, no cook diners

black barley, barley salad, pea salad, vegetarian salads, spring dinners, no cook diners In addition to black barley, I wanted to throw in some fresh, light, springy veggies!  It’s finally warmer outside and I’m craving everything Spring!  Sweet peas, shaved Persian cucumbers and peppery arugula add delicious flavors and textures.  But you can always swap in your favorite vegetables or greens – you can customize it as needed!

black barley, barley salad, pea salad, vegetarian salads, spring dinners, no cook diners

black barley, barley salad, pea salad, vegetarian salads, spring dinners, no cook diners The other thing I’m a fan of in this salad…is all the herbs!  It’s the season for fresh herbs and it seems like I can’t get enough!  Basil, parsley and mint all shine here.  Plus they add a really bright, fresh flavor that’s not too over powering.  Can’t beat it!  This really is the perfect Spring dish!

black barley, barley salad, pea salad, vegetarian salads, spring dinners, no cook diners

black barley, barley salad, pea salad, vegetarian salads, spring dinners, no cook diners

Herbed Black Barley with Peas & Cucumbers:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked black barley (regular barley or other whole grains will work well)
  • 2 cups white beans
  • 1 cup arugula, roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 10 oz frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1 cup cucumbers, thinly sliced using a mandolin
  • 2 tbsp mint, minced
  • 1/4 cup basil, minced
  • 2 tbsp parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions:

  1. Combine the ingredients from barley to parsley in a large salad bowl.  Toss to combine.
  2. In a separate small bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients for the dressing.   Drizzle dressing over salad, tossing to combine.
  3. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to merry and the dressing to marinate with the vegetables.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

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