Nutty, chewy barley shines in this simple salad that’s packed with wonderful textures. The contrasting hues of the cream-colored pearl barley and the purplish-black barley make for a beautiful play of colors. I like this barley salad served both warm and at room temperature, and I always make enough so I have leftovers for the next day.–Marcus Samuelsson
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 1 H, 45 M
- 6 to 8 servings
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
Note: Za’atar is one of my favorite spice blends. North African in origin, it has citrusy notes that add a bright jolt of flavor. Look for premixed blends in African markets, spice shops, or online.
Recipe Testers Reviews
This will be my new standby for healthy, portable lunches. All of these ingredients naturally play well with each other and can often be found in similar salad-y recipes, but this one is special because of the combination of the nutty, vinegary, and fresh citrusy flavors. While looking for black barley (which I couldn’t find), I meant to pick up pre-made za’atar, which I forgot. So, I made my own, according to some recipes I referenced. The salad is still plenty colorful, even without the black barley. Delicious.
This salad is absolutely delicious! It’s very easy to put together and the flavors are fabulous. I didn’t have black barley so I just used double the amount of regular barley. I also didn’t have spinach but had lots of arugula so I used that. I like spicy food, so I didn’t remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno. The heat wasn’t overpowering. The different textures and flavors make this a salad I’ll cook again and again. You might want to double the recipe if you’re making this for more than two people because chances are you’ll want leftovers. Great for take-to-work lunches.