Barley is a fantastic grain. It’s very diverse and is often used to add substance to a stew or soup, however one of the places it really shines is in a salad.

The easiest way to cook barley is to boil it in a pot of water for around 40 minutes until it’s soft but still chewy, a bit like brown rice. A good rule of thumb is to use twice as much water as barley, so for 1 cup of barley be sure to use 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Toasting the barley in the pan for a couple of minutes before you add the water will give it a nice nutty flavour, but be sure to stir it the whole time so it doesn’t burn.

The following recipes are perfect for anyone on a Six Food Exclusion Diet as they are all free from milk, egg, wheat, tree nuts/peanuts, soy, and fish/shellfish. 

In some cases your physician may advise you to avoid ALL gluten containing grains (wheat, rye and barley) in which case these recipes will NOT be suitable.


Barley, Mushroom and Dill Salad

Serves 6 people as a side


Barley and mushroom naturally complement each other, and are particularly lovely in the cooler months. Because dill is a somewhat sweet herb, it really sets this dish off and gives it a fresh feel. 

Recipe & photo: Martha Stewart

Recipe & photo: Martha Stewart



Barley & Corn Salad with Basil & Chive Dressing

Serves 4 – 6 people as a side


The sweetness of the corn with the savoury dressing makes this salad lovely as a lunch or dinner at any time of year. It can be ready in around 15 minutes and is as simple as boiling the barley, blanching the corn and blending the dressing. 

Recipe & photo: Epicurious

Recipe & photo: Epicurious



Mediterranean Eggplant & Barley Salad

Serves 4 as a main or 8 as a side


With lovely roasted eggplant (aubergine) and zucchini (courgette), this mediterranean salad is perfect in the warmer months. Because the barley is toasted with fragrant herbs and spices before boiling, it really is a flavourful dish.

If you’re wheat-free, make sure you’re careful in selecting an appropriate stock or broth to cook the barley in. 

Recipe & photo: Smitten Kitchen

Recipe & photo: Smitten Kitchen



Olivey French Lentil & Barley Salad

Serves 6

Toasted barley and lovely puy lentils make this a tasty and hearty salad. It can be served warm or at room temperature, making it ideal for lunch or dinner all year round.

If you’re wheat-free, make sure you’re careful in selecting an appropriate stock or broth before you start. 

Recipe & photo: Serious Eats

Recipe & photo: Serious Eats



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