Oh how delightful this salad is! It feels healthy and green and very clarifying. It makes you feel so good as you are eating it. The recipe comes from Ottolenhi and Tamimi’s book Jerusalem.
Middle Eastern and Israeli dishes can be substantial and heavy and are accompanied by a sharp, fresh salad such as this one. The herbs and lemon juice cleanse the palate and give a certain sense of lightness. Serve it with other vegetable-based mezze dishes. I like to eat it on its own for lunch with some flatbread. This amount serves 4 – 5 as a side dish and 2 – 3 as a lunch with flatbread.
The flavours of garlic, olive oil, onion, lemon – flavour so familiar from the Middle East – are all there, accentuated by za’atar – and the flavours are carried by the beautiful green tastes of parsley and green capsicum. A delightful, balanced dish.
Are you looking for similar Barley recipes? Try this wonderful Mediterranean Barley Salad with Crispy Tofu, or Farmhouse Barley and Vegetable Soup, Barley and Red Kidney Beans, and Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley.
You might like to browse other Parsley recipes here and here, other Barley recipes and other Ottolenghi recipes. Try our Middle Eastern recipes here and here, or explore our collection of easy Spring dishes here and here.
Parsley and Barley Salad with Spiced Marinated Feta
Note that I have adjusted some ingredient ratios to suit our tastes
60g pearl barley
5.5 Tblspn extra virgin olive oil
1 tspn za’atar
0.5 tspn coriander seeds, lightly toasted and crushed
0.25 tspn ground cumin
80g flat-leaf parsley, leaves and fine stems
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
40g cashew nuts, lightly toasted and crushed roughly
1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice
0.5 tspn ground allspice
2 Tbspn lemon juice
salt and black pepper
Place the pearl barley in a small sacepan, cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil Cook for 30 – 35 mins until tender but with a bite (al dente). Drain in a sieve, shake to remove water and transfer the barley to a bowl.
Meanwhile, break the feta into rough pieces about 1.5 cm in size, and in a bowl with 1.5 Tblspn of olive oil, za’atar, coriander seeds and cumin. Gently mix together and leave to marinate while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Chop the washed parsley finely and place in a bowl with the spring onions, garlic, cashew nuts, green capsicum, allspice, lemon or lime juice, the remaining olive oil and the cooked barley. Mix well together and season to taste.
To serve, place the parsley barley mix onto a serving plate and top with the marinated feta.
recipe notes and alternatives
Barley can be replaced with spelt, farro, or whole split wheat, with cooking times varying.
Replace cashew nuts with pinenuts if desired.