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Lentil Barley Salad with Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette
Meatless Monday: Lentil Barley Salad with Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
This salad stores well in the fridge and makes a great meatless main course or lunch. When you are cooking your lentils and barley, you can double or triple the amounts and keep some cooked in the fridge or freezer for quick meals. This dish is best with De Puy lentils: these are small green lentils that keep their shape well during cooking. If you can't find them at your local store, you can substitute brown or green lentils in the recipe.
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Author: Mary Gillespie
Ingredients
  • 2 cups / 500 ml cooked lentils
  • 2 cups / 500 ml cooked barley
  • 1/3 cup / 80 ml olive oil
  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 ml Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon / 1.25 ml ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 ml dried thyme or 1 tablespoon / 15 ml fresh
  • 1 tablespoon / 15 ml honey
  • 1 cup / 250 ml coarsely grated carrot
  • 1 cup / 250 ml finely diced red pepper
  • 1 green onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml finely diced fennel
  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup / 125 ml toasted walnuts optional - see note
  • 1 tablespoon / 15 ml lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml salt
Instructions
  1. If you do not have cooked lentils and barley available, cook them separately. To cook lentils, place 1 cup of lentils in a saucepan and cover with 2 cups of cold water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and cover. Lentils should simmer for 20 minutes until they are tender but retain their shape. Remove them from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes before draining any excess water. (I add a clove of garlic cut into slivers to the cooking water for extra flavor.)
  2. To cook barley, cover 1/2 cup of barley with 3 cups of water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes (for pearl barley) and up to 45 minutes (for pot barley). The barley grains should be swollen and tender but still a bit chewy when they are cooked. You can reduce the cooking time by soaking the barley for at least 4 hours before cooking. Drain any excess water from the barley. You can save this cooking water to use when making vegetable stocks.
  3. Combine lentils and barley in large mixing bowl.
  4. In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, 1/4 cup / 60 ml lemon juice, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml salt, pepper, thyme and honey. Stir dressing into lentil mixture until well-blended.
  5. Add carrot, red pepper, green onion, fennel, parsley, and walnuts to lentils. Stir until everything is evenly distributed.
  6. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon / 15 ml lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml salt over the salad and stir gently.
  7. Let the salad sit for at least an hour to give the flavors time to blend.
Recipe Notes

To toast nuts: place nuts on a cold fry pan and turn the heat to medium. Stir or toss frequently. The nuts should become lightly browned and begin to smell fragrant when they are done. Remove them from the heat immediately and turn out of pan into the salad or a small bowl until you are ready to use them. You will need to keep a close eye on the nuts. It should only take about 5 minutes to toast them. They can burn very quickly once they are toasted.

If you do not have walnut, you can substitute sunflower seeds in the recipe. Toast them according to the instructions above.

Toasting is not completely necessary, but it does improve the flavor of the nuts.