Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, and Capers

I loved the idea of a salad combining barley and lentils, and it worked perfectly with the tomatoes, Feta, capers, and a Greek-style vinaigrette for a lovely meatless salad.  There are many types of lentils, and you can probably use any green or brown lentils here, but I used lentils du puy, a green lentil from France that holds its shape well in a salad.

Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, and Capers

Salad Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup small green or brown lentils (I used French lentils du puy, but any green or brown lentil will work.)
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • You might want to cook twice the amount of lentils and barley and freeze the extra so you can make the salad again.
  • 2 large garlic cloves (sliced)
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/2 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 2 T capers (or less if you are not a fan of capers; could also use Kalamata olives sliced in half.)

Dressing Ingredients

  • 3 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Greek seasoning (I used The Spice House Greektown Seasoning; Greek seasoning has garlic, dried lemon, oregano, salt and pepper.)
  • 1/2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Combine the lentils and barley with the garlic slices and water to cover by a couple of inches, and cook until they are tender. (If your lentils are fairly fresh you can cook them with the barley, for about 45 minutes total cooking time. If your lentils have been in the pantry a while I’d probably cook the barley and lentils separately, because lentils take much longer to cook when they are older.)
  2. While lentils and barley are cooking, dice tomatoes or cut the cherry tomatoes in half, thinly slice the green onions, crumble the Feta, and measure out the capers. Mix together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Greek seasoning, and minced garlic and then whisk in the olive oil a little at a time to make the dressing.
  3. When lentils and barley are tender, drain them well, discarding the garlic, and then combine in a bowl large enough to fit all the salad ingredients. Let lentils and barley cool for about 20 minutes, then stir in enough dressing so they’re well moistened. (You won’t need all the dressing, but save the extra to re-moisten the salad after it’s been refrigerated or to use on a green salad.) Add the diced tomatoes, green onions, feta, and capers and gently combine. Serve salad slightly warm or at room temperature.
  4. I usually never refrigerate tomatoes, but this salad was still very good after it had been refrigerated. Let salad come to room temperature and re-moisten with the leftover dressing after refrigerating if desired. (Next time I might just add tomatoes to the part I was going to eat and add the tomatoes to the leftover salad as I ate it.)

Adapted from Kalyns Kitchen