- Place barley in a saucepan with 1.5 L (6 cups) water, cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for approximately 25–40 minutes or until just tender. Drain well.
- Toast the pine nuts in a pan with a drizzle of oil for a few minutes until they become golden brown. Set aside.
- To make the DRESSING: place garlic, lemon juice and olive oil in a screw-top jar and shake well.
- Place the cooked barley in a large mixing bowl and pour over dressing, add basil and toss gently to combine.
- Add olives, tomatoes, rocket and feta cheese. Sprinkle with pine nuts just before serving.
• Use pesto in place of fresh basil in the dressing
• Use bocconcini cheese in place of feta cheese
• Add avocado or roasted capsicum
• Use spelt berries or freekah in place of barley
• For a gluten free option, replace barley with a mixture of buckwheat and quinoa
• For a vegan version, replace feta with a vegan cheese or omit altogether and add extra pine nuts
● To cook barley in the pressure cooker, add 3 cups of water to 1 cup of barley and cook under pressure for 5 minutes.
● Given that olives and feta are quite salty, there is no need to add salt to this salad.
● Barley is full of soluble fibre, which can lower your cholesterol, and resistant starch, to lower your bowel cancer risk and feed the good bacteria in your gut.