A salad of barley, fresh herbs and fennel [Vegan, diabetic friendly]


I love to use barley, instead of couscous, pasta, rice.  There is something about its texture that adds to its delicious earthy flavour. 

Cooked with diced vegetables, added to soups and the possibilities are endless.   It adds nutritious affordable volume to a meal, is high in fibre, potassium and Vitamin B6

One of my favourite barley recipes is using it in a salad.  It is of course not gluten free and if you are following a gluten free diet, swap with quinoa.  On tv I used 250g of barley to add volume to the recipe if feeding a large crowd.  The combination of the dried herbs and spices makes the favour awesome, especially if you are able to prepare it at least two hours before serving so that all those juices are soaked up by the barley grains.

You will need:

100g barley
1 tsp za’atar spice
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 tsp cumin
1 fennel bulb
100g mixed leaves
50g parsley
50g fresh mint
50g fresh coriander
2 spring onions
2 garlic cloves
1/2 yellow pepper
1 large tomato
1/2 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

4 tablespoons sunflower oil

zest of a lime

50g pistachio nuts
salt and black pepper


Start by soaking the barley overnight if you have time.
Otherwise cook according to the instructions on your packet.

Drain the water from the barley and keep aside. [I usually like to keep the water and use it to make a Lemon Barley Cordial]

Prepare the other ingredients.

Start by dry roasting the cumin seeds, fennel seeds and coriander seeds in a very hot pan or wok.  Shake it for a few minutes and remove from the pan to avoid burning.  This brings out the oils and flavours of the spices.

Mix the powdered spices with the seeds [za’atar, cumin, coriander]  and keep aside.

Use a mezzaluna to chop the fresh coriander leaves, parsley and mint.

Cook the fennel bulb very lightly by placing it in a pot of boiling water and keeping it on a steady boil for 4 -5 minutes.  Drain the water and allow to cool.  Then chop into small pieces.  It should still have a bit of a bite.

Deseed and chop the yellow pepper and tomato and keep aside.  Chop the spring onions and crush the garlic cloves.

Mix the garlic cloves with the sunflower oil.

Assemble the salad by mixing all the ingredients together in a large bowl.  Toss and add half the pistachios.

Just before serving sprinkle the rest of the chopped pistachio nuts on the top and drizzle with some more sunflower oil.

Serve warm or cold and great for your take to work lunch box the next day ❤️


For this recipe I used:

Barley, dried herbs, nuts and spices by Lamb Brand

Golden Drop Sunflower Oil and Kuhne Apple Cider by Quality Foods Marketing

Fresh Vegetables by Big Fresh Mosta

Kitchenware by K & Co










One response to “A salad of barley, fresh herbs and fennel [Vegan, diabetic friendly]”

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