Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad
This Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad has tomatoes, Feta, and capers, and this is worth making as soon as you get good tomatoes! And this tasty meatless salad with a flavorful Greek vinaigrette is great for a side dish or a meatless main dish.
I love the idea of a salad combining barley and lentils, and it worked perfectly in this Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad with the tomatoes, Feta, capers, and a Greek-style vinaigrette giving the recipe somewhat of a Greek salad vibe.
And I bet I’m not the only salad-obsessed person who starts thinking about new salad combinations as soon as the weather gets warmer. And combining lentils and barley was definitely a new idea for me, but it really worked in this recipe. Next time I might add even more capers, but otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing.
My recipe is adapted from one I found in Spilling the Beans: Cooking and Baking with Beans and Grains Everyday. (affiliate link) When I spotted this book at Costco, I had to buy it because one of the co-authors is my blogging friend Julie Van Rosendaal (from Dinner with Julie) and it was exciting to see a book in Costco with her name on it!
There are so many food bloggers writing cookbooks these days that I realized long ago I couldn’t talk about most of them, but Julie’s book is one I am happy to recommend.
What ingredients do you need?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- uncooked green or brown lentils
- uncooked pearl barley
- garlic cloves
- cherry tomatoes
- green onion
- Capers (affiliate link)
- fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice)
- Red Wine Vinegar (affiliate link)
- Greek Seasoning (affiliate link)
- Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
- extra-virgin Olive Oil (affiliate link)
What lentils did I use for Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad?
How did I cook the barley and lentils for this salad?
The book said you could cook the barley and green lentils together, but since I was using lentils du puy that had been in my pantry for a while, I decided to keep them separate, because older beans and legumes take longer to cook. I cooked them both in a pan on the stove; just cover with water and cook until tender.
How to Make Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- If your lentils are fairly fresh you can cook them with the barley, for about 45 minutes total cooking time. If your lentils have been in the pantry a while I’d cook the barley and lentils separately, because lentils take much longer to cook when they are older. Combine the lentils and barley with the garlic slices and water to cover by a couple of inches, and cook until they are tender. I should have used bigger pans because I had to add water a few times, but it worked out.
- While the lentils and barley are cooking, dice enough tomatoes or cherry tomatoes to make one cup.
- Also slice the green onions, crumble the feta, and measure out 2 tablespoons of capers.
- The barley cooked in 45 minutes, and I drained it while the lentils finished cooking; my lentils took 55 minutes.
- I combined half the lentils and barley in a bowl as the base of the salad and let them cool for about 20 minutes. (I froze the rest in two separate containers so I can easily make the salad another time.)
- For the dressing, mix together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Greek Seasoning (affiliate link), and minced garlic, and then whisk in the olive oil a little at a time.
- Then stir in enough dressing so the barley and lentils are well-moistened; (I didn’t use all the dressing but I saved it to add to the salad after it had been refrigerated.)
- Gently stir in the tomatoes, feta, and capers and serve salad.
- I normally never refrigerate tomatoes, but this was still very good even after being refrigerated overnight. You could also mix tomatoes into just the part you were eating right away and add tomatoes later to the refrigerated salad.
More Salads with Lentils:
- 1/2 cup uncooked small green or brown lentils (see notes)
- 1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
- 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1/2 cup crumbled Feta
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 2 T capers
- 3 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 T red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Greek seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Combine the lentils and barley with the garlic slices and water to cover by a couple of inches, and cook until they are tender. (If your lentils are fairly fresh you can cook them with the barley, for about 45 minutes total cooking time. If your lentils have been in the pantry a while I’d probably cook the barley and lentils separately, because lentils take much longer to cook when they are older.)
- While lentils and barley are cooking, dice tomatoes or cut the cherry tomatoes in half, thinly slice the green onions, crumble the Feta, and measure out the capers.
- Mix together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Greek Seasoning (affiliate link), and minced garlic and then whisk in the olive oil a little at a time to make the dressing.
- When lentils and barley are tender, drain them well, discarding the garlic, and then combine in a bowl large enough to fit all the salad ingredients.
- Let lentils and barley cool for about 20 minutes, then stir in enough dressing so they’re well moistened. (You won’t need all the dressing, but save the extra to re-moisten the salad after it’s been refrigerated or to use on a green salad.)
- Add the diced tomatoes, green onions, feta, and capers and gently combine. Serve salad slightly warm or at room temperature.
- I usually never refrigerate tomatoes, but this salad was still very good after it had been refrigerated. Let salad come to room temperature and re-moisten with the leftover dressing after refrigerating if desired. (Next time I might just add tomatoes to the part I was going to eat and add the tomatoes to the leftover salad as I ate it.)
I used French lentils du puy, but any green or brown lentil will work.
The recipe was adapted from Lentil and Barley Salad in Spilling the Beans: Cooking and Baking with Beans and Grains Everyday. (affiliate link)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 220Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 440mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 6gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Lentils and barley are both the type of low-glycemic ingredients that the South Beach Diet recommends, and this Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad is a great choice for Phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet. It’s probably somewhat high in carbs for traditional low-carb diet plans.
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Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This salad with lentils and barley and Greek flavors was first posted in 2012. It was last update with more information in 2023.