Lavender Barley Salad

Chef Liz Barbour

This delicious salad was prepared by Liz Barbour and served at our February meeting as part of the “Cooking & Gardening with Edible Flowers” lecture. Liz was the guest speaker that day. She is the owner of “The Creative Feast” where she teaches and caters. She is also an avid gardener. Her website has other recipes and information that is quite useful.

Serves 8

1 cup Pearl or Hulled Barley*, uncooked
6 cups Water
1 tbs. Lavender Tea or Lavender Flowers**
3 tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbs. Red Onion, minced
½ lb frozen Petite Peas, thawed
1 Lemon, zested
¼ cup Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
¼ cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
Kosher Salt, to taste
Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste
assorted Edible Flowers, for garnish
Lettuce, optional

  1. Bring water to boil in a large saucepan.  Add the barley and return the water to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until the barley is tender, about 30-40 minutes.
  2. Turn off heat under barley, add lavender and let steep for 5 minutes.  Strain cooked barley (save water for iced tea if you like).  Run barley under cold water to cool down.  Set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Add olive oil, onion, thawed peas, lemon zest, parsley and feta cheese to the cooled barley.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  4. If desired, put the salad on a bed of lettuce and serve as a cool summer meal.

* Pearl Barley has had the hull removed, similar to white versus whole wheat flour. Hulled barley does not. Liz likes the hulled variety better as it has a richer, nuttier flavor. It is a bit harder to find in the grocery stores, but Bob’s Red Mill offers one. Barley is usually found where the dried beans are kept.

** Lavender Tea, which is nothing more than dried lavender flowers, is somewhat hard to find. You could omit this step with fine results, but it wouldn’t be “Lavender” Barley Salad any more! One source for dried lavender is the mail order house Penzeys Spices which specializes in high quality herbs & spices. This link will take you to the lavender ordering page. For some reason, it is not to be found in their mailed catalog.

Hey, gardeners, you could always grow and dry your own lavender!


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