Special Diets, Vegan/Vegetarian

Grilled Vegetable Barley Medley

Loreto May 23, 2017

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Grilled Vegetable Barley Medley, is everything that you would want in a bowl, with bright grilled flavors, and amazing textures. This medley screams spring and sunshine!

Song of the Day: “It’s Only Love” by Brian Adams and Tina Turner.

Grilled Vegetable Barley Medley

Grilled Vegetable Barley Medley, is not only delicious, but it is one of those recipes that is beautiful too. From the colorful infusion of those wonderful veggies to the always lovely pearls of barley, this dish would be a welcome addition to the outdoor grilling season!



Can you remember the first time you had barley? I do. My parents loved making wonderful minestrone full of everything under the sun. My parents have always had a garden and spring and summer were always filled with wonderful fresh hand picked vegetables. This minestrone had beans, chickpeas, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, and of course some barley inside. I loved the texture of the barley, starting off a bit soft going into it, then a little al dente from the center. From then on I always looked forward to having it, whether in the minestrone or one of my favorite soups as a kid, beef barley, so to this day I still have a fondness for the grain and wanted to do something with it for a lovely spring dish.

The first signs of spring and the aromas of barbecues going gets our appetites. That got me thinking of what I wanted to do with the barley. I thought it would be great to do some grilled vegetables and in the fridge we had eggplant, red pepper, yellow pepper, zucchini, some cherry tomatoes, and onions which you will always find in the fridge in all varieties. Nicoletta will tell you that I just love onions, can eat them every day, anyway, as a matter of fact, anyone who knows me knows that my go-to starter is always onion. I even made a dessert with onion. It was an apple, caramelized onion, cream cheese pie, which was amazing. Back to the Grilled Vegetable Barley Medley. Let’s grab some garlic shoots, which add such great flavor to any vegetable. They are nice and have a small head on them. We found ours at a farmers market. We just need some olive oil, and I have some that I infused with dried chilis, this will add a bit of zip to the grilled vegetables, along with some herbs and spices to really kick it up a few notches. With all the ingredients on hand, we are ready to get this recipe going.

Grilled Vegetable Barley Medley

I always love to get my hands on a recipe, literally speaking. You know what they say, you have to put some love into your cooking and what better way then to massage all those ingredients and getting the spices and seasoning well distributed into all those earthly goods.

Grilled Vegetable Barley MedleyGrilled Vegetable Barley Medley

The sun is shining, so let’s get grilling and put this Grilled Vegetable Barley Medley together!

I use a perforated vegetable grilling dish that I bought in the outdoor cooking area of a store here in Edmonton. It works perfectly to get those vegetables all charred and flavorful. A trick I do is to oil the pan and put it on the BBQ to get it hot. Then I throw in the veggies and just listen to that sizzle, and the aroma begins to rise, along with our appetites. While that is grilling away, I get the barley ready and boil it for a fair bit as it needs time and water to be its best. Remember to salt your water, I taste the water before, just to see if it is just right. I know a lot of people that cringe when they taste salt water, but I like it, and I don’t get that sour face look, lol.

Grilled Vegetable Barley Medley

I am so excited to put this together. I want to see the texture of the barley mixed with those caramelized, charred veggies. I am so happy with it. It is such a happy dish, makes me do nothing but smile. I want to just spike it a bit more with some finely chopped parsley, and we are done! Now for the best part, LET’S EAT!

Grilled Vegetable Barley Medley

You can see the steam rising from the bowl. I want to have this warm, but it could very well be eaten cold too as a salad as we did the day after. Perfect for those work days, packed for lunch. I bet you anything that when you crack open the lid of your Tupperware people close to you will say, “wow, that smells so good, where did you get it” you can answer proudly and say “I made it!”.

The first thing that comes in the first bites is the barley, nice and toothy with that excellent nutty flavor. In comes the grilled vegetables dancing their way in asking if they can interrupt for a bit. The eggplant succulent, smooth. The peppers with their zing and sweetness dancing on your tongue waking up the senses. The onions so beautifully caramelized and sweet taking a bit of the heat from the chili oil off the board. The thyme and oregano bring in some rusticness spiking the flavor profile to no end. Those cherry tomatoes offering a nice acidity to the mix, and the zucchini, juicy and sweet and plump. This is an all in one dish. Beautiful colors to entice the eye, wonderful aromas to stimulate the stomach and so much texture that makes your tongue dance. So if you are anxiously waiting to get cooking in the outdoors, get your veggies, spices, and barley and get to creating this amazing

So if you are anxiously waiting to get cooking in the outdoors, get your veggies, spices, and barley and get to creating this amazing Grilled Vegetable Barley Medley.

Happy Grilling and Bon Appetit!

Song of the Day: “It’s Only Love” by Brian Adams and Tina Turner.

Grilled Vegetable Barley Medley

Grilled Vegetable Barley Medley

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


Grilled vegetables:

  • 1 eggplant washed cut into large cubes
  • 1 red pepper washed, cored and cut into large cubes
  • 1 yellow pepper washed, cored, and cut into large cubes
  • 1 zucchini washed and cut into large cubes
  • 10 grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 onion cut length wise into slivers
  • 3 garlic shoots, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tsb of chili olive oil


  • 1 1/2 cups of pearl barley
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Dash of fresh parsley
  • Sprinkle of lemon zest fleur de sel (or lemon infused sea salt would work).


Grilled Vegetables:

  1. In a large bowl place eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, yellow peppers, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, onion powder.
  2. Drizzle chili oil over vegetables and toss till well mixed and incorporated.
  3. Heat up barbecue and place vegetables in a perferated vegetable grilling pan.
  4. Place pan on grill and let heat up till vegetables start to sizzle.
  5. Turn frequently as you don’t want the vegetables to burn.
  6. Grill for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are at the right consistency for you.
  7. While vegetables are grilling, place some olive oil in a saute pan and toss in onions and garlic shoots.
  8. Saute on medium heat and season with a dash of salt, pepper, and sugar.
  9. Saute for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.
  10. Take vegetables off the barbecue and add them to the onion and garlic.
  11. Toss well and drizzle some more olive oil.
  12. Cook in saute pan for about 5 minutes. Take off heat.


  1. In a medium to large sauce pan pour in water and add salt.
  2. Bring to a boil, add in barley, and stir.
  3. Keep on medium heat partially covered, and stir frequently.
  4. Cook for about 45 minutes or until desired consistency.
  5. Turn veggies in pan back on the stove top.
  6. Add in cooked barley and a splash of olive oil.
  7. Saute on high for 5 minutes, crisping up some of the barley.
  8. Place in a serving bowl.
  9. Garnish with fresh parsley and a sprinkling of lemon zest fleur de sel.
  10. Ready to serve!


  • Serving Size: serves 6 well
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Grilled Vegetable Barley Medley

For another vegetarian, colorful and tasty spring/summer dish, check out our:

Quinoa Spring Market Salad

quinoa spring market salad

Disclosure: All links in our post are NOT affiliate links. They are only about products or places we normally purchase and like.  

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  • Avatar
    Reply Stephanie May 24, 2017 at 3:15 am

    It has so bright grilled flavor and the texture is just amazing. I’m a vegetarian, and this dish sounds great for my dinner. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 24, 2017 at 7:59 am

      You are so welcome Stephanie, always thinking of great ideas for the vegetarian pallet. I am so glad you enjoyed this one. It is so lovely to look at, and reminds me of those times eating outside in the backyard or at the lake. Lots of veggies and that amazing barley always brings me back. Have a wonderful dinner and thanks for the great comment.

  • Avatar
    Reply Amanda Orlando May 24, 2017 at 8:44 am

    This recipe looks so fresh and bright, and easy for summer BBQ season. I love barley and sometimes it’s hard to make it exciting. Thanks for sharing!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 24, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      You are so welcome Amanda, always like sharing our love of food and creativity. This salad was so good and so cheerful, we are still smiling from ear to ear when we think of it!.
      Thanks a bunch for stopping by.

  • Avatar
    Reply bergetrk May 25, 2017 at 6:03 am

    I am so glad spring is finally here! The weather is warm and the sun is shining. This barley dish looks lovely. It would be great eaten as leftovers in my lunch too!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 25, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      That ius the best part of this dish. It just gets more infused with flavor and is even more tastier that the day before. What I love to do is put it in a frying pan with some hot olive oil and get it to some nice crispy bits. This just takes it up a huge notch in my books. So glad sping is here, love the sun and the colors of spring. So glad you liked this recipe, I hope you try it!

  • Avatar
    Reply annie@ciaochowbambina May 25, 2017 at 6:33 am

    I love barley and actually don’t incorporate it enough into my dishes! I love how bright and tasty this meal is! Your love of onions reminds me of my son…he even loves them raw!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 25, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Annie, he is not the only one, my uncle used to make onion sandwiches for breakfast. I love onions, but I draw the line at onion sandwiches As for barley, I believe it is underused and deserves so much more attention. The combination here was absolutely delicious and beautiful making us all smile feeling spring. Thanks a bunch for commenting, always love reading them.
      have a wonderful rest of the week.
      Ciao for now!

  • Avatar
    Reply leslie-anne May 26, 2017 at 8:45 am

    This looks lovely and a great addition to a BBQ or potluck party! I love those ‘throw all the veggies’ in the soup type soups – I have a feeling we will be doing that a lot this summer with our garden.

  • Avatar
    Reply Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs May 28, 2017 at 1:59 am

    Hah, even just reading about tasting salt water made me cringe! This recipe is so stunning, I love the beautiful bright veggies. It’s totally a garden vegetable meal and barley is one of my favourite grains.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 28, 2017 at 5:24 am

      Thank you Alexandra, I always laugh whene I see people taste the salted water. Its an aquired taste. I am glad you like the brightness of this dish. It was what we were trying to achieve creating it, and the barley was the perfect accompaniment texture wise and taste.
      Have a great weekend.

  • Avatar
    Reply killingthyme May 29, 2017 at 9:26 am

    How incredibly delicious does this look! You know, I’ve only ever had barley in soups before. I really think I’d love it in a salad like this. I’m going to have to try this 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 29, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Hi Dana, I highly urge you to try this. The barley has that amazing texture and nuttiness and with all those grilled vegetables take it up just a few notches as Emerald would say. Would love to hear how you made out with this one.
      Happy grilling

  • Avatar
    Reply Justine @ JustineCelina.com May 29, 2017 at 11:55 am

    This look so scrumptious — what an incredibly colourful and flavourful combination of ingredients! I love warm, grain based salads and this one seems perfect for this time of year. Beautiful recipe, guys! Hope you had a great weekend.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 29, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      Hi Justine, it was a great weekiend, especially Saturday some well deserved break from cooking and relaxation, thanks for asking. You are so right about these hearty grain salads, although we had it warm and the next day fried up in a hot pan made it just that much closer to heaven. I love when the barley sits with all those flavors and that crispness happens from the hot pan, yum.
      Have a great start to the week.

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