Despite being vegan, I’m really not much of a salad person as salads rarely satiate me. However, I recently ate a delicious grain salad at Mill Valley Kitchen and was inspired to eat more grains in general. I came home, found a bag of barley and four Persian cucumbers in the refrigerator, and decided to concoct a salad. This is perfect as an accompaniment to dinner or as a light lunch.

Prep time: 1 hour (most of this time is to cook the barley)

Serves: 4

Equipment: Cutting board, knife, pot, colander


3 c water
1 c barley
2 Persian cucumbers (or 1/2 normal cucumber)
3 scallions
1/4 c fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice (approx. juice from half of a lemon)
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt


1. Cook the barley first: boil 3 cups of water, add the barley, return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 50 minutes.

2. Dice the cucumbers into 1/2″ cubes.

3. Thinly slice scallions. I like to slice them on the bias for presentation purposes.

4. Julienne the mint leaves.

5. In a small prep bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.

6. When barley is finished, place in colander and run under cold water for ~1 minute to cool grains to just above room temperature. Then, mix barley, dressing, cucumbers, scallions and mint. Taste and add salt if necessary.