Thursday, June 12, 2008

Barley and White Bean Salad with Parsley, Lemon, and Capers

Barley and White Bean Salad
One of the cookbooks I've consistently used is Jack Bishop's Vegetables Every Day, so when I started hearing about his latest book, I had to have A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen too. This newer book has the same creative approach to vegetables that made me love the first one. It was the parsley in this salad with white beans and barley that caught my eye, and when I made it, the flavor was a little similar to tabbouleh, one of the summer tastes I crave. I did change the proportions of the salad a little, adding more beans to bump up the protein. The recipe suggested serving this on butter lettuce topped with tomatoes, but I didn't have lettuce. The tomatoes gave a nice color contrast, but this would taste great without them too.

Parsley is one of those herbs I nearly always have in my fridge, and in the summer I grow both types of parsley in my herb garden. According to The World's Healthiest Foods, parsley is the world's most popular herb, and the herb does have two components that provide health benefits. Although many cooks prefer flat-leaf parsley, personally I think the two types can be used pretty interchangeably, and for some dishes I actually prefer curly parsley. Parsley is one of those herbs I've written about many, many times for Weekend Herb Blogging, which is hosted this week by Astrid from Paulchen's Food Blog. If you're blogging about a dish that features herbs, plants, vegetables, or flowers, check the rules for Weekend Herb Blogging and where to send your entry if you'd like to participate, then visit Astrid after the weekend to see what everyone was cooking this week.

Barley and White Bean Salad with Parsley, Lemon, and Capers
(Makes 4 main dish servings, recipe adapted slightly from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop.)

1 1/2 cups pearl barley
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained well (I used Cannelini beans)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups parsley leaves, packed (I used curly parsley, but you can use either type. You can use the thinner parts of the stems, but break off the thick ends.)
2 T capers
1 tsp. minced garlic
6 T olive oil
3 T lemon juice

Bring two quarts of salted water to a boil, then add barley and simmer until it's still slightly chewy, about 25 minutes. While barley cooks, drain beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears. Let beans drain well, then blot dry with paper towels.

Wash parsley and spin dry or blot dry with paper towels. Put parsley, capers, and garlic in food processor and process until all ingredients are finely chopped. Add oil and lemon juice and process about 30 seconds more. Put dressing into small bowl and taste for seasoning, adding salt if needed.

When barley is done, drain well and transfer to large bowl. Add the beans and gently combine. Stir in parsley dressing, tossing so salad ingredients are all coated with dressing. (You may not need all the dressing, depending on how wet you prefer your salads.) Taste salad and season as desired with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Let come to room temperature and serve over lettuce and/or sliced tomatoes if desired.

Salad can be store in the refrigerator for a day or two, but let come to room temperature again before serving.
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South Beach Suggestions:
This is a perfect side dish or vegetarian main dish for phase two or three of the South Beach Diet, or any Low-Glycemic eating plan.

More Salads from Kalyn with Parsley:
Kalyn's Tabbouleh with Almonds
White Bean Salad with Tuna and Parsley
Carrot and Parsley Salad
Middle Eastern Tomato Salad
Chopped Middle Eastern Salad with Purslane

Parsley Recipes from Other Bloggers:
I wrote about Cooking with Fresh Herbs: Parsley for and featured lots of great recipes using parsley.
About Parsley (and links to many recipes for famous sauces using parsley) from The Perfect Pantry

Want even more recipes?
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  1. Geemaney I have got to make this on Kalyn and this author looks most interesting! Great photo.

  2. capers seem to be cropping up all over the place. I think I may write about them in an upcoming post on some of summer's foodie trends. They are always tasty with lemon, so I'm sure this gives the barley an amazing flavor. yahoo!

  3. Oooh, this looks so good. I love all things with white beans, and so does my littlest one. This is a another keeper from your kitchen to mine!

  4. Lovely combination of flavors and textures here. I far prefer barley to rice in salads, but I don't see it in recipes nearly as often. Thanks for a good one and for the cookbook recommendation.

  5. I have bookmarked this. My daughter loves white beans.

  6. Hi Kayln. wanted to email about South Beach questions not sure how to reach you on a blog or email..I have done South beach before lots loads of weight and then put some on during the holidays.. did phase 1 again twice and lost nothing... wanted to know if you could help me i really want to try again but am scared.. and im getting so bored of phase 1

  7. What a vibrantly coloured tasty sounding salad.

  8. Anonymous if you have a question about a specific food or recipe you can write to me at kalynskitchen (at) comcast (dot) net. (Change it to a regular e-mail address.) I don't really give diet advice beyond that, since I'm not trained in the diet and don't represent South Beach.

  9. ohhh yeah! in a vegan slump here eating same stuff over and over.
    this looks good.

  10. I love barley, so much more satisfying than rice. Parsley is also a favourite for me. I have been known to just run it under the tap and eat it plain. Nice salad!

  11. I've got barley in my cupboard, just waiting for a recipe like this! Thanks, it looks heavenly.

  12. I'm not sure which I like better: the barley in the salad or the capers in the dressing.... both sound wonderful - even better together

  13. That looks awesome! I have all the ingredients, just wish my local tomatoes looked that good to serve them with!

  14. That's my kinda salad. Love it.

  15. wow you have some fantastic salads happening at th moment - this one particularly appeals to me and I just love the way you use the tomatoes in the photo

  16. It looks too good to ruin with a fork!


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