Barley Salad (with spinach, feta, pine nuts and citrus)

Barley saladIt’s slowly moving to Autumn, the leaves are turning and the days are getting shorter. This means moving to filling and warming meals that make the change of seasons something to look forward to.

This is an adapted recipe. The original calls for Wheat Berries which can be a little tricky to find in my local shops so in the spirit of experimentation, I used barley. It’s a difficult one to call but while the taste is different, it’s equally as good.

This recipe has slow release carbs, vitamin c and a little iron, calcium and protein, and probably lots of other things good for you. And it’s filling without being heavy so great before or after a run.

While this has does have some protein, it’s also good with a boiled egg for a bit of extra if you’re training hard.

Serves 4 to 6 or a week’s supply of lunch for 1.


2 cups of barley, rinsed

6 cups water

A few good pinches of salt

Salt and pepper

100 g of spinach leaves, rinsed and stemmed

½ cup toasted pine nuts [see Snack time for roasting the seeds and nuts]

125 g of crumbled feta


Citrus dressing

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 minced shallots

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • Put the rinsed barley in a large pot, add in water and salt, and put over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or so until tender. Drain and let cool a little.
  • To make the dressing, combine the orange zest and juice, lemon juice and shallot. Whisk the oil and season with a few pinches of salt and a bit of pepper.
  • Toss the barley with the spinach, pine nuts, citrus dressing, then top with feta. Taste for seasoning.
  • EAT!


Let me know how you get on with this recipe and if there are other tweaks to the recipe you’ve tried.


Adapted from Heidi Swanson, Super Natural Cooking.