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 is great for a side dish or a meatless main dish.
PIN Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad!
I bet I’m not the only salad-obsessed person who starts thinking about new salad combinations as soon as the weather gets warmer. I loved the idea of a salad combining barley and lentils, and it worked perfectly with the tomatoes, Feta, capers, and a Greek-style vinaigrette in this Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad with.
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?
- 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 kind of lentils did I use?
There are many types of lentils, and you can probably use any green or brown lentils here, but I used lentils du puy, a green lentil from France that holds its shape well in a 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:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- 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. 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 Tasty Ideas for Lentils:
Black Bean and Lentil Salad with Red Bell Pepper, Cumin, and Cilantro
Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad
I love this Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad, and this is a great idea for a meatless lunch!
- 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 with Tomatoes, Feta, and Capers is a great choice for Phase 2 or 3 of the diet. It’s too high in carbs for traditional low-carb diet plans.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
23 Comments on “Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad”
What about substituting quinoa or Bulghur?? I'm going to make the salad this weekend as is, but wonder what you think about substitutions. Love your blog!
So glad you enjoyed it! I think green pepper sounds like a great addition.
The salad was delicious! I followed it almost exactly, with the addition of a green bell pepper for the extra fiber 🙂 I've actually made it twice since running across the recipe on pinterest a week ago!! You must have great self-control to have gotten 6 servings out of it. My husband and I couldn't stop eating it! 🙂
Cajunville, hope you enjoy.
Jeanette, this had most of the flavors in Greek salad with more chewiness!
Simona, you could eat this slightly warm, but I liked it room temperature best.
This salad looks very nice. I tend to like my lentils warm, but I am open to a different experience.
I am a huge Greek salad lover – what a great idea using lentils and barley. I agree, a nice way to transition into Spring.
We enjoy salads especially main dish ones. This looks wonderful and we will give it a try. Thanks.
Jessica, so glad you liked it and I like the way you added more veggies.
I made this tonight for my family. Such a wholesome delicious salad!! I also added roasted eggplant and onions. And, since I had them, I threw in small diced carrots and celery. Thank you so much for inspiring me to make healthy good things for my family. So glad I found your blog!! Jessi, Tallahassee FL
Kelly some types of lentils will stay firm much better than others. The green lentils du puy are great, and slightly chewy in the salad.
Thanks Lydia! I really loved the combination.
Becky I love the idea of having the barley and lentils ready in the freezer to make this again!
I'm so excited to try this! Love your tip on doubling the grains and freezing. I'm SO doing that. It's worth the time saved.
Oh, this hits all the flavor notes for me. I love barley and lentils together, and I usually serve it in some hot, casserole-like side dish. To lighten up these ingredients into a salad is inspired, and I can't wait to try it.
I'm with you on loving salads, but pretty much all year long. I haven't used lentils in one yet and will have to practice to do it because when I cook lentils — even gently — they're pretty soft. Love the flavors in this!
Kelley, we were writing comments at the same time I guess! I did love this combination!
Sangeeta, loved this new salad!
Val, thanks. Glad you liked it!
Luana, I love having a salad like this in the fridge.
Joanne, I loved the chewiness in this salad.
From one feta loving gal to another, this looks amazing! Just the kind of salad I like to prepare and have on hand to nosh on through the week. I've never thought of combing lentils and barley but I bet the combo is wonderful and filling. Happy Monday to you, Kalyn!!
I've always loved the flavors of Greek salad but have kind of wished it were a bit more substantial…this is the version I've been dreaming of!
I love salads like this because they're great leftover, and can be a quick snack or a small meal with no effort. I make a similar salad with quinoa and chickpeas.
Loving this Greek-inspired dish Kalyn!
Here is another salad obsessed person 🙂 I love barley too, in any form.
This salad looks really flavorful n rich textured too.