Amazing Vegetarian Recipe Alert!! Barley Salad With Chickpeas, Fava Beans and Green Peas

I saw this recipe in one of those BuzzFeed lists and it caught my eye. It was a list of recipes that claimed to make you “wanna become a vegetarian” if you aren’t. Well, for the record, I am not, and don’t plan on it, but this delicious little salad is quite a hearty bite and will definitely leave you satisfied. I will say when you prepare this, make sure you don’t leave any of the beans sitting after you cook them before you mix all the ingredients together. I did, because I got busy with something else, and those fava beans in their pot with the little bit of liquid that was left started to look funky, kind of like spaghetti if you leave it in the pot after you cook it without serving it for about…20 minutes…yuck. Sticking to the pot…just a mess. In my opinion, fava beans are somewhat hard to cook properly (until I master them!), but a nice change from lentils.  They are rich in protein, fiber, phyto-nutrients, folate and a bunch of other minerals.

Anyhow, here is the final product…

And below is the recipe….enjoy folks!


Barley Salad with Chickpeas, Fava Beans & Peas

Serves 4

  • 200 g. pearl barley (about 1 cup)
  • 200 g. chickpeas (I used canned ones.), rinsed and drained
  • 200 g. peas, shelled (weighed after shelling from about 800 g. of pods)
  • 200 g. fava beans, shelled (weighed after shelling from about 800 g. of pods)
  • 1/2 – 1 lime or lemon
  • handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, seeded & quartered
  • handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped finely + whole for garnishing
  • handful of fresh basil leaves + whole for garnishing
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  1. Prepare 3 saucepans with water.
  2. In one saucepan with water, add pearl barley.  Add some salt and bring to a boil.  Once it boils, simmer on low fire whatever time the bag tells you (should be 10-12 minutes) or until they are tender.  When they are cooked, rinse under tap, drain and set aside.
  3. Bring the remaining two saucepans with water to a boil.  Add salt when they boil.  In one saucepan, put the green peas.  In the other saucepan, put the fava beans.   Cook the peas for desired time (mine needed 30 minutes) and the fava beans for desired time (these were tricky, needed more like 40-45 minutes).
  4. When the fava beans are cooked, rinse with cold water and drain.
  5. When the peas are cooked, rinse with cold water and drain.
  6. In a big bowl, mix fava beans, peas, barley, tomatoes, chickpeas, onion, mint & basil leaves.
  7. Mix extra virgin olive oil with the juice of 1/2 a lime.  Season with salt & pepper.  If you want it more sour, squeeze the other half.
  8. Pour dressing on the salad.  Mix well.
  9. SIDE NOTE–you can make this dish GLUTEN-FREE by leaving out the barley and adding more beans.