Recipe: Barley Salad With Balsamic Strawberries & Arugula

This cold grain salad mixes barley with strawberries marinated in balsamic vinegar, adding a peppery bite with some arugula.

by Lori Rice
PHOTO: Lori Rice

This cold grain salad will be a hit at your next gathering, whether it’s a picnic or an indoor meal. Barley is combined with tangy, sweet strawberries that have marinated in balsamic vinegar. A little arugula adds a peppery bite and a burst of beautiful green.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 cup dry pearl barley, rinsed
  • 2 1⁄2 cups water
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon honey
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup arugula


Place the barley in a large saucepan, and add the water. Heat to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until tender but still chewy. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a low boil while it cooks. Using a colander, drain and rinse well with cold water.

While the barley cooks, place the strawberries in a medium bowl. Pour in the balsamic vinegar, and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.

barley salad balsamic strawberries arugula
Lori Rice

Transfer the barley to a medium bowl. Add the shallot. Whisk together the olive oil, honey and salt in a small dish. Pour the dressing over the barley, and stir well.

Gently stir in the strawberries and any vinegar remaining in the bowl. Fold in the arugula. Add additional salt to taste, if desired. Refrigerate for as long as 1 hour before serving. This salad is best served soon after being prepared.

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This story originally appeared in the July/August issue of Hobby Farms magazine.

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