Bean and Barley Salad {Vegan}
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish or first course, or 4 as a main dish on top of a bed of lettuce
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ cup medium-ground bulgur wheat
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (or another 1 tablespoon light olive oil)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon hot paprika or cayenne pepper (optional; more or less to taste)
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed and drained (cooked or canned)
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained (cooked or canned)
  1. Put the barley and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small-medium lidded saucepan with 1½ cups hot water; cover, bring to a boil, then turn heat down to very low and simmer until the water is absorbed and the barley is tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove any excess water, then cool and fluff.
  2. While the barley cooks, soak the bulgur. To do so, put the bulgur and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; add 1 cup boiling water, cover the bowl, and let it sit for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove any excess water, then cool and fluff.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, canola oil, sesame oil, lemon juice, rice vinegar, tamari sauce, maple syrup, sweet paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and hot paprika (or cayenne). Stir in the red onion, red bell pepper, parsley, lentils, black beans, barley, and bulgur.
  4. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as desired; refrigerate until serving and store any leftovers refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Maple Syrup: You can use honey instead if keeping it vegan isn’t a concern.
Recipe by An Edible Mosaic™ at