The toothsome, nutty barley in this salad pairs perfectly with sweet, juicy grapes, and a bite of onion. Along with the nutty crunch from the almonds and the lemony dressing, this simple-looking dish is something special. Serve with fresh spinach for some added flavor. This dish feels both simple and special at the same time. You should make it.

Lemony Pearl Barley Salad With Almonds and Herbs [Vegan]






  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, roasted
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Spanish onion
  • 1 slice thick rye bread
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted
  • 2/3 cup red grapes


  1. Combine the barley along with one and a half cups cold water in a small pot. Cover, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until all of the water is absorbed (approximately 20 minutes). The barley should be tender, but still chewy.
  2. Using either a mortar and pestle or a food processor, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, thyme leaves, and roasted garlic cloves until a thick dressing forms. Set aside.
  3. Peel the onion and thinly slice. If the grapes are small leave them whole, otherwise slice in half length-ways. Roughly chop the roasted almonds.
  4. Cut the slice of rye bread into cubes and toast in a pan over a medium-high heat with just a splash of olive oil. Toss continually until the cubes start to evenly brown.
  5. In a large bowl combine the barley, the onion, the grapes, and the almonds. Stir through the dressing, then add croutons just before serving.