Cambia lingua / Switch language: Italiano
This vegan Italian barley salad with roasted vegetables is the perfect "get ready for winter dish". The barley has a perfect bite and flavour that couples well with roasted vegetables. This salad is easy to make, healthy and tasty, and it will make you very strong. Did you know that the Gladiators were called the barley men? Yes, they used to eat loads of barley to be strong and healthy!
🥬 Ingredients & substitutions
Barley: wholegrain barley is best for this vegan Italian barley salad. Cook it al dente. It can be replaced with wholegrain rice, buckwheat, couscous, amaranth, wholegrain oats, and short pasta types like penne or farfalle.
Roasted vegetables: opt for local, seasonal vegetables. We used zucchini, aubergines, bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, carrots. Here's the full recipe for roasted vegetables and roasted bell peppers.
Fresh herbs: use rosemary to season the roasted vegetables. Parsley and basil to add into the barley salad towards the end.
Extra virgin olive oil: preferably made in Italy with Italian olives.
Lemon: the juice of the lemon, without seeds.
Salt & pepper: sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
📋 Recipe Card
Barley salad with roasted vegetables
- 2½ cups barley (400 g)
- 1 gallon water to cook the barley (4 litres)
- ½ tablespoon coarse sea salt to salt the cooking water
- 2 zucchini
- 1 eggplant (aubergine)
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 cups mushrooms (200 g)
- 1 handfull flat-leaf parsley
- 10 leaves basil
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, season with 1 scant tbsp of coarse sea salt. Add barley, reduce heat to a low and let simmer. Stir occasionally until chewy and tender, as instructed on the package (about 45 minutes).
- While the barley cooks, roast the veggies in the oven. Cut the vegetables into slices, season them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Bake the for 30 minutes at 430°F (220°C). See our roasted veggie recipe for full instructions.
- When the barley is cooked al dente, drain it and place it in a cold bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lemon onto the barley (avoid lemon seeds).
- Add 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and stir with a spoon until well combined.
- When the vegetables are baked, cut them into dice.
- Then add them to the bowl with the barley
- Add the basil leaves. Then mix well, taste, and adjust for salt, pepper and lemon and serve.
👨🏻🍳 Top tips
Season the cooking water
When you cook grains like barley, oats, millet, buckwheat, rice, and also pasta, the rule of thumb is that you salt the boiling water with a small handful of coarse sea salt. This will add flavour to the grain and you'll need less dressing later on.
Cool down the barley quickly
Barley is best eaten al dente, with a nice bite and chew to it. To achieve this you want to cool down the barley as soon as you drain it. To do that, avoid putting it under cold running water. That will remove a lot of the flavour and texture.
Instead, place it in a very cold bowl that you previously refrigerated and add the cold juice of one lemon in it. Also, stir it often when in the bowl to allow the hot steam to escape.
📖 Questions & answers
Yes. Barley is a whole ancient grain cultivated for over 10000 years. Eating more whole grains and vegetables is the number one recommendation in the scientific community to live a longer and healthier life.
Barley will not only make you strong and fit, but thanks to its dietary fibre content it will help reduce inflammation in your body.
Being a whole grain, barley takes about 45 minutes to boil. To be sure, check the package instructions, and also taste the barley to make sure you won't overcook it.
Yes. You can make "orzotto" with barley. Orzo means barley in italian, and sometimes, though not often, the Italians make risotto with barley, resulting in a dish called orzotto. It will take longer to make orzotto as the barley requires more time to cook.
You can store your vegan Italian barley salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Barley salad is best eaten cold, so no need to reheat it when you take it out of the fridge.
To make the flavours come out again, take it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before eating it.
🍝 Related recipes
If you have any tips or questions let us know in the comments below!Jump to Recipe