- February 3, 2023
- Main Dishes
Tuscan Bean Salad With Barley
Delicious white beans mixed with fresh vegetables, perfectly cooked barley, and a delicious tangy vinaigrette dressing for the perfect ready to eat salad recipe.
This recipe for Tuscan bean salad is kicking off a new regular series here at Bon Appeteach. I am calling this series, “the base meal”. While this recipe is definitely something you could categorize as a salad, it also works well when paired with a variety of different freshly cooked proteins throughout the week and eaten in a variety of ways.
Learn more about my base meal series over on Instagram and follow along if you’re looking for easier ways to meal prep without becoming bored or tired of what you’re eating.
What I love about this recipe, in particular, is that while it’s still a salad, it’s not one in the traditional sense. It uses creamy white beans and hearty cooked barley as the base and is paired with veggies and fresh herbs.
While I love this salad for meal prepping, I also think it would be great served as a side dish at potlucks, BBQs, and get togethers too.
Why This Recipe Works:
- The white beans and barley make this a filling salad recipe and won’t get soggy like traditional lettuce. In fact, the flavor just gets better as the week goes on.
- You’re getting a variety of vegetables in this recipe making it not only taste delicious, but it’s healthy for you.
- It’s easy for making ahead of time and serving in one large bowl family style or creating smaller individual servings you can eat from a mason jar.
- Large Bowl
- Knife & Cutting Board
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Spatula or Wooden Spoon
Welcome to my virtual classroom! Use the guided notes below where I often answer commonly asked questions I get from readers and cooks just like you.
This information is meant to help you have a stronger understanding of this recipe and the process so you can find success all on your own.
Ready to begin cooking? Simply jump to the recipe card below and begin.
- White Beans (I used canned beans here to make it simple)
- Artichoke Hearts
- Bell Peppers (I used both red pepper and green pepper)
- Black Olives
- Red Onion
- Fresh Parsley
Homemade Dressing Ingredients-
- Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice
- Dijon Mustard
- Fresh Minced Garlic
- Olive Brine (from the black olives)
- Dried Thyme
- Salt and Pepper
How To Cook Barley:
Barley is a versatile grain that can be cooked in several ways. Here is a basic method for cooking barley:
Cook the barley in a 1:2 ratio with water or chicken stock (the stock often adds more flavor). Here is how I prefer to cook barley for this recipe:
- Rinse the barley in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any dirt or debris.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the barley and water or broth.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.
- Simmer for about 45 minutes or until the barley is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove the pan from heat and let it sit for a few minutes, then fluff the barley with a fork.
- Let it fully cool to room temperature before adding it to this recipe or make it ahead of time and use it later.
How To Make Tuscan Bean Salad:
Here is what you need to do to prep this salad.
- Remove the white beans from the can and drain and rinse them in a strainer. Remove excess water and then add to a large bowl.
- Next, add in the cooked and cooled barley, the bell peppers, diced celery and onion, and the sliced olives and artichokes.
- Mince some fresh parsley and toss this in with the other salad ingredients to fully combine.
- In a separate bowl or in a large measuring cup, make the dressing. Do this by combing the olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive brine, and seasonings. Whisk until combined and emulsified and then test taste to adjust the seasonings as needed.
- Pour the dressing mixture over the bean salad ingredients and thoroughly fold everything together until fully combined. Season the entire mixture again with salt and pepper if needed (taste test as you go to adjust).
- Serve right away or store in the fridge. This salad lasts for up to 5 days and goes great on top of lettuce, in wraps, mixed with cooked pasta, eaten on sandwiches, or as a side when paired with your favorite proteins.
- Want to add more flavor to this recipe? You can also try mixing in things like feta cheese or Parmesan cheese, or even some sun dried tomatoes as well if preferred.
- If you prefer to use dried beans, you will need to soak them overnight then rinse and cook them in a pot to soften in order to use them (canned is definitely a faster method but not required).
- Toss the salad each time before serving. As it sits in the fridge, the dressing may separate and fall to the bottom over time. Giving it a toss before eating helps redistribute the mixture.
- Pair with other freshly cooked recipes like my air fried salmon, broiled beef shish kebabs, or smoked chicken breast.
More Recipes To Try:
- Creamy Southwestern Pasta Salad Recipe
- Low Carb Cuban Style Black Beans
- Dill Pickle Coleslaw
- Italian Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
Tuscan Bean Salad With Barley
- 1 cup Barley uncooked
- 2 cups Water or Broth for cooking the barley
- 1 can White Beans Cannellini or Great Northern
- 1 can Artichoke Hearts chopped
- 2 stalks Celery diced small
- 1 Red Pepper diced small
- 1 Green Pepper diced small
- 1/2 Red Onion diced small
- 1/2 cup Black Olives sliced thin
- 1/2 cup Fresh Parsley minced
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 2 tbsp. Olive Brine
- 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- 3-4 cloves Garlic minced
- 2 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1 tsp. Salt
- Prepare the barley by bring the water or broth to a boil in a small pot. Once boiling, add the barley in and reduce the heat to the lowest setting on the stove. Cover with a lid and let it cook about 40-45 minutes or until the liquid is gone and the barley is tender. Fluff it with a fork and let it cool to room temperature.
- Drain the canned white beans and rinse then thoroughly. Add them to a large mixing bowl.
- To the beans, add the cooked and cooled barley, the diced peppers and celery. Then add in the chopped artichoke hearts, sliced black olives, and minced fresh parsley.
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, brine, garlic, salt, and dried thyme. Whisk until combined and emulsified.
- Pour the dressing over the Tuscan bean salad and barley mixture and toss and fold it in until fully combined and coated.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to a week. See ways to pair and serve this salad in the article above!