Mediterranean Barley Salad
Apr 21, 2022, Updated Sep 14, 2023
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Burrata Barley Salad with microgreens, garlic, truffle, olive oil, artichokes, and garden-fresh tomatoes topped with creamy burrata for a Mediterranean Barley Salad that is great as a side or main dish.
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Mediterranean Barley Salad
Are you always on the hunt for a go-to salad that will help you get more grains into your diet while still having great flavor? Do you also love that satisfying feeling when you finally pop a burrata? This salad is for you.
A Mediterranean barley salad topped with a creamy burrata is the perfect mix of indulgence while still making you feel good when you eat it. I also love the way that these various flavors combine to create a fabulous dish.
Truffle and garlic add depth to this salad while the brightness of the tomato and artichoke perfectly offset the burrata.
How to prepare barley
Barley is a delicious grain – perfectly cooked barley will have a slightly springy texture and a nutty flavor.
There are two types of barley – hulled and pearl – and either will work with this recipe. Hulled barley has more fiber and takes about 25 – 30 minutes longer to cook than pearl barley.
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- Barley – barley is a hearty, healthy whole grain that helps keep you full and has a nutty flavor.
- Garbanzo Beans – chickpeas (garbanzo beans) add protein and fiber, as well as a buttery, light flavor that is delicious straight out of the can in a salad.
- Micro greens – microgreens are baby lettuces, sprouts, and other vegetables grown to a tender baby stage and cut early so they have a more delicate flavor.
- Cherry tomatoes – cherry tomatoes are small and sweet, and a low water content so they won’t make the barley soggy and mushy.
- Shallots – finely diced raw shallot gives an earthy, onion and garlic like flavor with a bit of a kick. Shallots are a bit milder than onions, with less heat when served raw.
- Basil – finely cut basil (thinly slicing herbs is called chiffonade). To get a perfect chiffonade, lay basil leaves on top of each other, and roll tightly, like a cigar shape. Then cut, widthwise, as thinly as possible – you will have perfect thin basil strips that mix well in this salad!
- Sundried tomatoes – sundried tomatoes give a tart, sweet, and strong flavor to salads. Sundried tomatoes have a richer, sweeter flavor than tomatoes, and can be used to add more layers of flavor to a dish.
- Marinated artichoke hearts – canned marinated artichoke hearts are tender and easy to eat, with a light buttery flavor. We opt for marinated artichoke hearts that are packed in olive oil and herbs. Drain from excess oil before adding to barley salad.
- Crunchy Garlic Nuggets (optional – this isn’t authentically Mediterranean but I love the crunch!) add a crispy, crunchy bite and rich garlic flavor without additional salt.
- Burrata – burrata is a fresh mozzarella cheese with a fresh cream center and mild, light flavor.
- Truffle oil – olive oil infused with black truffles is a budget friendly way to add a strong, earthy truffle flavor to salads and other dishes.
Tips for the perfect Medeterranian salad & FAQs
Select Fresh Ingredients: Use the freshest ingredients available, especially for the tomatoes, as they are a key component of the dish.
Ripe Tomatoes are Key: Choose ripe, garden-fresh tomatoes. Heirloom or vine-ripened varieties often have the best flavor and texture.
Prep Ingredients in Advance: Prepare all your ingredients before you start assembling the salad. This includes washing and drying the microgreens, slicing the garlic, draining and chopping the artichokes, and breaking down the Burrata into smaller pieces.
Cook Barley to Perfection: Cook the barley to the right consistency. It should be tender but still have a slight chewiness. Follow the package instructions for cooking time and ratios, and consider adding a pinch of salt to the cooking water for flavor.
Season the Barley: Season the cooked barley with a drizzle of truffle oil and a pinch of salt while it’s still warm. This allows the barley to absorb the flavors.
Use Quality Olive Oil: Use a high-quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling over the salad. It adds richness and enhances the overall flavor.
Layer Flavors: Layer the flavors strategically. Start with the barley as the base, then add the microgreens, followed by the artichokes, tomatoes, and garlic. This allows you to appreciate each ingredient’s taste and texture.
Drizzle Truffle Oil Sparingly: Truffle oil can be strong, so drizzle it sparingly over the salad. You can always add more if needed, but it’s easier to adjust than to tone down an overpowering truffle flavor.
Burrata Placement: Place the creamy Burrata on top of the salad just before serving. It’s best to break it open gently, allowing the creamy interior to ooze out, creating a beautiful presentation.
Season to Taste: Taste the salad before serving and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You may need a bit more salt, pepper, or truffle oil to balance the flavors.
Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs like basil or parsley can add a pop of color and freshness to the salad. Sprinkle some on top just before serving.
Serve Immediately: This salad is best served fresh and immediately after assembling to preserve the textures and flavors.
Pair with a Good Wine: Consider pairing this salad with a white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or a light, crisp Rosé to complement the creamy Burrata and fresh ingredients.
Burrata is a creamy Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. You can usually find it in well-stocked grocery stores, specialty cheese shops, or Italian markets.
While Burrata has a unique creamy texture, you can substitute it with fresh mozzarella or a creamy cheese like burrata or stracciatella. However, it won’t have the same rich, creamy interior.
It’s not necessary to rinse cooked barley for this salad. Simply drain it and let it cool slightly before seasoning.
Yes, you can use pearl barley, which cooks faster than hulled barley. Adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions for pearl barley.
You can substitute truffle oil with a high-quality extra virgin olive oil for a different but still delicious flavor. Truffle oil has a strong flavor, so use olive oil sparingly.
You can prepare most of the components in advance, like cooking the barley, chopping the vegetables, and assembling them on a platter. However, add the Burrata and drizzle the truffle oil just before serving to maintain freshness.
Once assembled, the salad is best enjoyed immediately. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator, but be aware that the Burrata may lose its creamy texture when stored.
To make this salad vegan, you can use a dairy-free cheese alternative or omit the creamy cheese entirely. Substitute olive oil for the truffle oil and ensure the other ingredients are vegan-friendly.
This salad pairs well with grilled chicken, fish, or roasted vegetables. It’s versatile and can be a great side dish for a variety of main courses.
Absolutely! You can customize this salad by adding ingredients like roasted red peppers, toasted pine nuts, or a balsamic glaze drizzle for extra flavor and texture.
Mild-flavored microgreens like arugula, baby spinach, or basil microgreens work well. They add freshness and a hint of peppery or herbal flavor.
Slicing the garlic thinly or using a garlic press can help distribute the flavor more evenly in the salad. Additionally, allowing the salad to sit for a few minutes after adding the garlic can mellow its intensity.
What to Serve With Burrata Barley Salad
This simple, delicious barley salad can be served as a complete meal in one – it is filling and delicious, and barley provides a good stick-to-your-ribs heartiness that some grains don’t – it keeps you feeling full longer.
If you’re looking for some delicious ideas to serve alongside, we love serving this easy salad with Easy Lemon Garlic Baked Cod; simple and delicious and ridiculously easy Air Fried Asparagus; some fresh pita bread and Baba Ganoush for a Meditteranean mezze style meal; or Crunchy Baked Chicken Drumsticks that pair perfectly with the truffle and garlic flavor of this salad!
Find more of our favorite main dish recipes here:
Mediterranean Barley Burrata Salad
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- 1 lb pearl barley
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1/4 cup dry thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 cup microgreens (use a microgreen you love - baby arugula, rainbow microgreens, etc)
- 8 oz burrata cheese (two large burrata balls, or four small burratas)
- 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained
- 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8-10 leaves basil, thinly sliced (chiffonade)
- 3 tablespoons black truffle olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Maldon finishing salt (if using regular salt, reduce to 1 teaspoon, then taste to add more)
- 2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon crunchy garlic (optional)
- In a large pot, boil 6-10 cups water (enough to cover barley, no need to measure)
- Add barley and cook to tender, about 10 minutes.
- When barley is tender and soft, drain well, then add to a large bowl.
- Add artichokes, tomatoes, basil, microgreens. Toss to mix.
- Season with garlic, truffle olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Toss well and taste - add more seasoning if desired.
- Top with burrata and serve immediately.
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TRUFF Black Truffle Oil - Black Truffle Infused Olive Oil - Gourmet Dressing, Seasoning, Marinade, or Drizzle, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, 6 fl.oz
Organic Garlic Gold Nuggets, Crunchy Roasted Garlic Seasoning Granules, Sodium Free no MSG Free, Vegan Keto Paleo Friendly Food, 2.1 Oz Jar (Pack of 3)
Goya Foods Chick Peas, Garbanzo Beans, 29 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Kirkland signature artichoke hearts marinated in oil 33 oz
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 260Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 22mgSodium 1227mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 6gSugar 5gProtein 12g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.