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Barley, feta and asparagus salad in a jar is your new gourmet lunch

Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy in 1999 from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the rest of ...

Go for salads in jars — they're easier (and healthier) than going for takeout during lunch

Not only is this barley salad five stars in the health department, but it's also delicious. And the best thing is you can take it with you for an easy lunch on the go.

When you're always running short on time, you tend to forget about the most fundamental thing: food. And the easiest option is always takeout. Sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's not. Yes, we do get nourished and go about our business again, but don't you sometimes wish you could just prepare your own food at home?

Go for salads in jars — they're easier (and healthier) than going for takeout during lunch

You need just a few minutes the night before to cook the barley and asparagus, but really, they don't take much effort. Then you layer them in your jar (remember that the jar should be squeaky clean — better from the dishwasher), pop the jar into the refrigerator and, the following morning, stuff it into your bag. Lunch is served!

Barley, feta and asparagus salad in a jar recipe

Yields 4


  • 1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 12 spears asparagus
  • 1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup olives, pitted and chopped
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, diced
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium heat. When the water is boiling, add some salt and the uncooked barley. Simmer on low-medium heat for 20 minutes or until tender. When the barley is cooked, rinse with cold water under the faucet, and drain well. Set aside.
  2. On a dry griddle over medium to high heat, cook the asparagus until tender, and then chop it coarsely. Set it aside to let it cool.
  3. In sterile Mason jars or other food jars, layer the ingredients in any order you wish.
  4. Sprinkle the parsley and salt on top, and then drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
  5. Close the jars, and refrigerate them until ready to eat.

More barley recipes

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Barley veggie salad

Slow cooker beef barley soup

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