Simple grains salad


This simple salad started out as a quick, well-filling afternoon snack. It has now grown into a full-fledged meal.

The origin of this salad comes from a good friend who shared his tips for a filling afternoon snack with us. We made that quick combo of tomato, cucumber, chickpeas, nuts, and black beans a number of times and really liked it.

So what do you do when you have something tasty? You make it often and try different variations. This particular variation adds pearl barley, but you can also use other types of grains or rice — a wild rice mix, for example, is also very tasty.

The added lettuce is not just for show. It adds something bitter, which makes the salad itself stand out more.

Simple grains salad

10 minutes preparation + 20 minutes cooking — serves 2 to 3


  • 250 grams cherry tomatoes
  • 0.5 cucumber
  • 150 grams pearl barley
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 50 grams of walnuts
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 gem lettuce / baby romaine salad
  • 0.5 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Pepper and salt
  • Oil
  • Optional: garlic flat bread


The salad is also delicious with garlic flat bread as a side dish. If serving, preheat the oven first and bake the bread while grilling the lettuce in the pan so that everything is ready at the same time.

  1. Boil one liter of water in a kettle.
  2. Wash the pearl barley and bring to the boil in a pot with the stock cube and pre-boiled water. Stir to dissolve the stock cube. Boil for 20 minutes and drain.
  3. Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut into quarters.
  4. Wash the cucumber and cut into 0.5-1cm cubes.
  5. Drain the chickpeas and wash with cold water. Remove any loose skins.
  6. Drain the black beans and wash with cold water.
  7. Chop the walnuts into small pieces.
  8. Wash the salad and cut in half. Cut the half pieces in half again so that you have four quarters. Pat with kitchen paper to remove most of the moisture.
  9. Heat some oil in a pan and once the pan is hot, add the gem lettuce to the pan. Note: because there is water in the lettuce, it can splash oil; this is normal. Lower the heat and use a grease splatter screen if necessary.
  10. Grill the lettuce in the pan for c. 4-5 minutes over medium to high heat. Turn halfway through.
  11. Remove the lettuce from the pan and place on a plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  12. Mix the walnuts, black beans, chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, and cooked pearl barley in a large salad bowl with the cumin powder, extra virgin olive oil, 0.5 tablespoon pepper and 1 teaspoon salt.
  13. Serve the grain salad with the grilled lettuce and, if serving, the garlic flat bread.
Enjoy your meal!

Did you like this?

Leave a comment below if you made this recipe, and let me know what you think. Tips and feedback to improve the recipe are always welcome too!

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