Nutty Barley Salad with Orange and Fresh Mint

Barely is a firm textured, nutty whole-grain containing beta-glucan,  a type of soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol. It takes a little time to cook so I make it over the weekend and use it in salads and as a side dish during the week. I even mix barley with steel-cut oats (another high soluble fiber grain) for a textured twist on oatmeal.

This barley salad is nutty and chewy with zesty brightness from fresh oranges and mint. If you don’t have fresh oranges on hand, you can use canned Mandarin oranges as a quick swap.

Nutty Barley Salad with Orange and Fresh Mint


1 cup barley

2 cups water

1/2 cups golden raisins

1/2 cup pistachios

3 scallions, chopped

1 orange, peeled, sectioned, cut orange sections into bite-size pieces

3 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Juice from 1/2 an orange (about 3-4 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

1 teaspoons grated orange zest

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine barley and water in a medium saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the raisins. Cook for another 10 minutes or until water is absorbed and barley is done.
  2. In a large bowl, combine barley with all of the remaining ingredients. Toss together.

Note: For an even easier version, substitute canned Mandarin oranges for the fresh oranges and use 3-4 tablespoons of orange juice instead of the juice of 1/2 an orange.

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