Barley Salad with Dill Yogurt Dressing

This is a recipe I first found back in my movie catering days. It was a real hit on warmer days; it makes a wonderful picnic salad, too. This is one of my favourite dishes with dill, making it a great complement to fish.

for 4 servings:


1 cup pearl barley (*for a gluten-free alternative, use roasted buckwheat groats – also called kasha)

2 medium tomatoes, or 2 pints cherry tomatoes

1 medium English cucumber (if using garden cucumber, peel and remove any large seeds)

3 green onions

12 large Kalamata olives, pitted


1/3 cup Greek yogurt

3 tbsp sour cream

1/4 cup olive oil

zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped fine

salt & pepper

Boil barley in a large pot with 4 cups salted water for 30 minutes, till tender. Rinse under cold water. (If using kasha, boil in 2 cups water, then let simmer for 10-12 minutes.)

Mix dressing in a medium bowl (or mason jar, especially good if you’re taking it on a picnic). Season with salt and pepper, adding a squeeze of lemon juice to add some zing if you wish.

Cut cucumber lengthwise, then slice in half rounds. Chop tomatoes in large dice, or chop cherry tomatoes in halves. Chop green onions and olives. Mix all ingredients in large bowl.

*If taking this salad for a picnic, package salad and dressing separately. DO NOT SEASON SALAD (the salt will draw out the juices of the cukes and tomatoes and you’ll end up with soup!)

Season salad ingredients with salt and pepper, then toss with dressing. Let salad sit in a cool spot (refrigerate if possible) for at least 10 minutes, ideally 30 minutes so flavours can blend.

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