Barley salad with pesto and vegetables

Hearty salad offers style and substance!

Crunchy vegetables blended with tangy pesto and creamy barley make for a pretty and delicious plate of goodness, served on its own or with a protein. It’s a terrific salad to take to the cottage or a picnic as it needs little refrigeration, only has a few ingredients and no delicate herbs. Barley is full of fibre and nutrition, as well as being low in gluten; this is just one of many ways to incorporate more of its super-food power into your menus!


  • 1 cup (250 mL) pot or pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) prepared basil pesto
  • 1 cup (250 mL) yellow or orange pepper, diced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked corn kernels
  • 2 cups (500 mL) halved cherry tomatoes
  • lemon wedges (for garnish)


  • Bring large pot of water to boil; add barley.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 50 minutes or until the barley is tender but still a bit firm. Drain; rinse under cold running water and drain very well a second time.
  • Note that the barley can be cooked up to 24 hours in advance; put it in a covered container and refrigerate if not using within 4 hours.
  • When ready to assemble, put cooked barley in a serving bowl.
  • Note: if you have refrigerated the cooked barley, you may want to bring it up to room temperature before assembling your salad.
  • Add peppers, cucumber, corn and pesto; stir gently but thoroughly to combine.
  • Add tomatoes and very gently toss the salad once more.
  • Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over the salad to brighten the flavour.

Serves 6 – 8.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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