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Barley Salad with Olives and Lemon

The following recipe and photography were provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at or in her cookbook, One Pan Whole Family.

Barley is one of my favorite grains. Its springy texture is like no other grain; chewy and almost meaty in texture. Bright with green olives and lemon with a little crunch from the nuts and a green note from the herbs, this is a salad to love for all seasons.

It’s that easy: Rinsing the barley removes some of the starch, allowing it to cook up with a more distinct grain and less stickiness. There can also be a stone or few in the bag, so a good rinse and once over is a good idea.

Barley Salad with Olives
Barley Salad with Olives and Lemon

6-8 (as a side dish)


  • 1 1/2 cups barley, rinsed under cold running water and any stones removed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 10.6 oz. jar Divina Pitted Castelvetrano Olives, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and squeezed, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup mint, chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the rinsed barley and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the barley is tender and most of the water has been absorbed. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the barley cooks, mince the shallot and chop the green olives and walnuts on a large cutting board. Zest and squeeze the lemon into a small bowl.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When it shimmers, add the shallot, olives and walnuts to the pan and sauté until the shallot is tender and the mixture is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the barley, olive mixture and lemon zest and juice and toss to mix. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, lemon juice and a few grinds of pepper, if needed. Cool slightly and stir in the mint and cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead: The salad keeps for up to 2 days when covered and refrigerated. Warm or bring to room temperature to serve.

arley Salad with Olives

Interested in making this recipe? Order the ingredients online for Curbside Grocery Pickup or Delivery.

Carla Snyder in her kitchen
By Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

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