Greek Chickpea Salad

Chickpea salads are my favorite salads. A few of my go-to’s include: Easy Chickpea Salad, Chickpea, Avocado, & Feta Salad, Fall Chickpea Salad, and Roasted Cauliflower Chickpea Salad. I also REALLY love this Greek Chickpea Salad because Greek…

Chickpea salads are my favorite salads. A few of my go-to’s include: Easy Chickpea Salad, Chickpea, Avocado, & Feta Salad, Fall Chickpea Salad, and Roasted Cauliflower Chickpea Salad. I also REALLY love this Greek Chickpea Salad because Greek flavors are always SO good. If you like my Greek Quinoa Salad and Greek Tortellini Salad, I…

Whipped Feta

Feta cheese is delicious, I love adding it to my salads, eggs, vegetables, and more. It is such a good cheese. I always have it in my fridge. But have you tried Whipped Feta? It is the BEST. Whipping feta in a food processor or blender, takes the chees…

Feta cheese is delicious, I love adding it to my salads, eggs, vegetables, and more. It is such a good cheese. I always have it in my fridge. But have you tried Whipped Feta? It is the BEST. Whipping feta in a food processor or blender, takes the cheese to a whole new level. In…

Barley Salad with Lemon

This barley salad is irresistibly fresh and tasty! Pair the whole grain with crunchy veggies and cover in a lemon…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This barley salad is irresistibly fresh and tasty! Pair the whole grain with crunchy veggies and cover in a lemon and olive oil dressing.

Barley Salad

Here’s a unique grain salad that you won’t be able to resist: try Barley Salad! To be fair, barley isn’t often the star in a salad; typically trendier grains like quinoa and farro rein supreme. But this whole grain is absolutely ideal: its chewy texture and nutty flavor are the perfect contrast to crunchy veggies, garlic, herbs, and lemon olive oil dressing. On first bite, we were both smitten…and a bit surprised, honestly: it’s weirdly delicious! It’s our new favorite for cookouts, picnics, and make-ahead lunches.

Ingredients for barley salad

This barley salad is a Mediterranean-style salad featuring crunchy veggies, herbs, feta cheese, lemon and olive oil. It’s quick and simple to put together, with the formula: make the grain, chop the veggies, and add the dressing. You’ll need about 30 minutes and these ingredients to put it together:

  • Pearl barley: see below for more about types of barley
  • Garlic
  • Shallot
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Bell pepper
  • Fresh herbs: we used parsley and basil
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Lemon juice and lemon zest
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Types of barley

There are two types of barley you can use for this barley salad: hulled and pearl. The difference is similar to white rice vs brown rice: like brown rice, hulled barley has less of the grain removed. We like using pearl here because it cooks faster, but some people prefer the nutritional profile of hulled. However, the nutritional differences between the two aren’t very significant! Pearl barley is still a great source of protein and fiber.

  • Hulled barley has just the outer husk of the grain removed, so it has more fiber than the pearl variety. It’s darker in color and takes about 1 hour to cook.
  • Pearled or pearl barley is the more common form that has the outer husk and bran layers removed. It takes less time to cook, about 30 minutes. It’s still very nutritious.

How to make barley salad: a few tips

This barley salad is quick and easy to mix up! There are just a few things to know:

  • Spread the cooked barley onto a baking sheet to cool. Spreading out the grains in a single layer makes them cool faster. To speed up the process, you can pop the sheet in the freezer for a few minutes to get the grains to come to room temperature.
  • You can also cook the barley in advance. Simply refrigerate 1 to 2 days until you’re ready to make the salad.
  • Use fresh herbs like parsley, basil or other. The easiest is to use all parsley: but you can also use a mix! We used parsley and basil. Other good options are dill or mint.

Storage info

This barley salad keeps well, so it’s perfect for make-ahead lunches or picnics! Store it refrigerated for up to 5 days. The flavor is best right away but tastes great after refrigeration; you may need to revive the flavors with a pinch or two of salt.

More grain salad recipes

Love a good grain salad? Here are a few more ways to make a tasty salad with whole grains:

This barley salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Barley Salad

Barley Salad with Lemon


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 side dish servings

Description

This barley salad is irresistibly fresh and tasty! Pair the whole grain with crunchy veggies and cover in a lemon and olive oil dressing.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (or 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or mix of herbs (we used parsley and basil)
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbles (omit for vegan and add more salt to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place the barley in a saucepan or pot with 3 cups water and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 25 to 30 minutes (or 45 to 1 hour if using hulled barley; you can add more water if the pan becomes dry).
  2. Drain any excess water. Place the barley in a single layer on a baking sheet and allow to cool for a few minutes (pop it in the freezer for 2 minutes to speed up the process and get the grains to room temperature).
  3. Meanwhile, mince the garlic and slice the shallot. Slice the cherry tomatoes in quarters. Dice the bell pepper. Chop the dill and mint.
  4. When the barley is done resting, place it in a large bowl with the chopped vegetables and herbs. Add the feta cheese crumbles, lemon juice and zest, the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix gently to combine.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days (flavor is best right away but tastes great after refrigeration; you may need to revive the flavors with a pinch or two of salt).
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Barley salad

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Spinach Rice with Feta

Spinach rice turns rice into a classy side dish! Garlic, dill and feta cheese bring big flavor to this Mediterranean-style…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Spinach rice turns rice into a classy side dish! Garlic, dill and feta cheese bring big flavor to this Mediterranean-style dish.

Spinach Rice

Here’s a fun way to turn everyday rice into a classy side dish: Spinach Rice! After years of cooking, we’re discovering fun tricks like this. Take plain old white rice and cook up a pot with spinach and garlic, then flavor it with a pop of lemon and sprinkle of feta cheese. It’s an elegant Mediterranean-style side dish that you can serve for guests or just use to spice up weeknights. And, it’s a great way to load up on spinach. The savory, fresh flavors are unreal!

How to make spinach rice: the basic concept

Spinach rice is a mix of spinach and rice, and often other aromatic flavors like onion, garlic, dill and feta cheese. The traditional Greek version is called spanakorizo, which often has added tomatoes or tomato paste. This recipe is inspired by the Mediterranean flavors in that dish (if you want a more traditional spin, go to this spanakorizo recipe!).

The basic concept is to cook rice with spinach and seasonings until the liquid is reduced. Note that spinach rice comes out a little more gooey than a traditional fluffy rice: which is what is intended here! Here’s the basic concept (or jump to the recipe below):

  • Sauté garlic in olive oil, then add spinach and wilt. This takes about 3 minutes total.
  • Add water, rice and seasonings and cook 15 minutes. At this point the liquid should be reduced.
  • Allow to rest 5 minutes. This helps the rice to cool and set.
  • Fluff and add lemon juice, dill and feta. These additions brighten the flavors! See below for more.
Spinach Rice

A few notes on serving

One thing we love about this Mediterranean spinach rice: it packs in loads of spinach, which not only adds nutrients but helps to stretch the serving size. Often we can polish off a whole lot of rice, but adding spinach and flavorings helps it to be more satisfying.

Don’t have fresh dill? That’s ok: you can skip it! But it does add quite a bit of fresh flavor (don’t bother adding dried dill). The fresh lemon juice adds quite a punch though: we’d recommend using it if possible.

Ways to serve spinach rice

Spinach rice is the ideal side dish to make your meal seem elegant and thoughtful! We love making it for guests but it also works to class up a weeknight meal. Here are some great ways to serve it:

Spinach Rice

More spinach recipes

Love adding spinach to your recipes? Here are a few more tasty spinach recipes to enjoy this nutritious leafy green:

This spinach rice recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
Spinach Rice

Easy Spinach Rice


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Spinach rice turns rice into a classy side dish! Garlic, dill and feta cheese bring big flavor to this Mediterranean-style dish.


Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cups (5 ounces) baby spinach (or chopped standard spinach)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, optional
  • ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. Mince the garlic. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute until fragrant (but not browned). Add spinach and cook until it wilts, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add 2 cups water and bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the rice, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Make sure it’s simmering, then cover and cook for 15 minutes, uncovering and checking every so often to make sure that the heat is not too high.
  3. After 15 minutes, check to make sure the water is completely cooked out (if not, cook a minute or two longer but it should be done by this point). Remove the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork, then stir in the lemon juice and chopped dill. Top with feta crumbles and serve.
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Rice

Keywords: Spinach rice

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Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad is loaded with fresh vegetables, feta cheese, and a homemade Greek dressing to create the best pasta salad you’ll ever eat. Make it for lunch or serve it as a side with dinner. I don’t know about you, but I love having a small list of go-to recipes every season that I …

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Greek Pasta Salad is loaded with fresh vegetables, feta cheese, and a homemade Greek dressing to create the best pasta salad you’ll ever eat. Make it for lunch or serve it as a side with dinner.

Serving bowl filled with greek pasta salad with a drink and smaller bowl of salad in the background

I don’t know about you, but I love having a small list of go-to recipes every season that I can can whip up for just about any occasion.

This Greek Pasta Salad is my go-to salad for birthday parties, barbecues, or even just a random Tuesday night.

Serve it up with a side of grilled chicken and you have the perfect summer weeknight dinner.

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