Enjoy an easy summer barley salad with corn, blueberries, goat cheese and almonds, all tossed in a simple white wine vinaigrette. This fresh, light, and satisfying salad is the perfect picnic food!
Barley sounds like a more 'wintery' ingredient, especially if it makes you think of this kale barley salad or these chickpea barley butternut squash jar salads. But paired with corn, blueberries and goat cheese? Barley salad is perfect for a summery dinner or picnic!
My perfect salad will always include the following: healthy grains, tons of veggies, something slightly sweet, a bit of CHEESE, and something to give it that crunch factor. This summer barley salad has all of that, tossed up in a light white wine vinaigrette!
And I'm seriously loving this recipe because it's so fresh and delicious, and perfect for summer!
Reasons you'll love this summer barley salad
- it is light and fresh with bright flavors
- full of seasonal summer produce
- it's perfect for barbecues, potlucks, and picnics
Wondering how this recipe comes together? Watch this 1-minute video to see how easy it is to prep! You can find more recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
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Fresh corn gives the best flavor
This summery barley salad benefits hugely from picking the freshest ingredients, like corn on the cob. While you *could* use canned corn, fresh corn is much more sweet and juicy. You can cook your corn by boiling on the stove for 10 minutes, but my favorite way to cook corn these days is in the Instant Pot! The corn is cooked through before a pot of water can come to a boil.
Originally this salad was made with grilled corn, and while that is an option (and adds a nice charred flavor as well), over the years I've found I'm not as fond of the chewy texture that grilled corn gets.
For the goat cheese lovers
This salad definitely has a strong goat cheese flavor. Not only does the goat cheese add a beautiful creamy texture to the salad, but also a tangy and somewhat tart flavor.
If you are on the fence about goat cheese, you may want to either reduce it by half, or swap it for feta cheese.
Swaps + variations
- pearl barley - swap for quinoa or rice
- sliced almonds - swap for your favorite nut! Sunflower seeds work great with the other flavors in this salad.
- goat cheese - swap for feta cheese
- parsley- swap for chervil, green onions or fresh basil
- white wine vinaigrette - my favorite all purpose salad dressing gives a great tangy flavor to this salad, but you could swap for one of these 7 basic vinaigrettes
- barley is not gluten-free, but you may swap for quinoa
- this salad is absolutely best when served immediately after tossing in the vinaigrette, but all of the components can be prepped up to 4 days in advance and ingredients stored separately:
- cook and chop the corn
- cook and cool the barley
- shake up the vinaigrette
- make it a meal- add some cooked chicken or chickpeas to add some protein and make this salad a complete meal
- this recipe is great for a BBQ! Serve it with:
Looking for more summery salads?
- Strawberry Arugula Salad with Steak & Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Summer Couscous Salad
- Black Bean and Corn Salad
- Kale Caesar Salad with Garlic Chickpeas
- Caprese Chicken Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup pearl barley uncooked
- 4 ears corn on the cob
- 1 cup blueberries
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup red onion sliced
- 4 oz goat cheese crumbled (113 g; see note *)
- ¼ cup parsley (chopped)
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- Cook barley according to package directions. Allow to cool completely.
- Cook the corn using your favorite method. I boil for 10 minutes on the stove, or cook it in the Instant Pot.
- Allow to cool slightly, then cut the kernels from the corn.
- Combine barley, cooked corn, blueberries, almonds, red onion, goat cheese, and parsley in a large bowl.
- Shake together all vinaigrette ingredients in a jar, and toss the salad in the vinaigrette.
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