Peach and Barley Salad with Halloumi

5 from 1 vote

This recipe for barley salad is a unique combination of tender barley grains with grilled chunks of salty halloumi cheese, sweet peaches, and peppery parsley in a divinely delicious dijon dressing. It is easy to make and will fill you up without slowing you down.

closeup: a blue plate of peach and barley salad with grilled halloumi, pomegranate, and fresh herbs

This peach and barley salad recipe is one of my favorite summertime salads. Of course, this dish is dynamite year-round, but I absolutely love to make it when peaches are in season. Along with the pomegranate seeds, they add a touch of fruity flavor that makes this dish an absolute dream. 

Plus, the grilled halloumi cheese adds a touch of briney, melty, richness that perfectly compliments the sweetness of the fruit and tanginess of the dressing. If you are new to working with halloumi cheese, you are in for a treat! Grilled, it has crispy edges with a creamy inside. Whip up a batch of barley salad for potlucks, barbecues, or as an on-the-go lunch option.

extreme closeup: peach and barley salad with grilled halloumi cheese, pomegranate, and fresh herbs

For more banging barley recipes, check out my Moroccan Spiced Chicken and Barley, Pineapple Shrimp Barley Salad, and this Mediterranean Barley Salad.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Pearled Barley – Has a soft, chewy texture and a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Shop for it in the rice and grains aisle and make sure the package says pearl or pearled. 
  • Halloumi Cheese Also known as grilling cheese, halloumi is usually made from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. It has a mild, salty flavor, a squeaky texture, and a high melting point that makes it perfect for grilling. 
  • Parsley Adds intense freshness, a vibrant green color, and a clean, peppery taste. Choose flat-leaf parsley for this salad. 
  • Peaches Adds a blast of sweetly sour, fruity flavor and a dazzling orange color. 
  • Pomegranate Seeds Also called pomegranate arils, these juicy little gems add bright tartness and tantalizing texture. 
  • Shallots A cousin of the onion, shallots have a mild, sweet flavor with a hint of pungency and sharpness. 
  • Dijon Mustard Adds a pungent, spicy zinginess to the dressing. Stoneground, spicy brown, or horseradish mustards will all work as substitutes. 
  • Lemon Enlivens the salad with a burst of sour citrus flavor. 
  • Honey Brings a flavor-enhancing, harmonizing touch of sweetness. 
  • Black Pepper Delivers a smoky, piney, peppery punch.
overhead: a hand holding a blue plate with barley salad on it

Tip From Kevin

Cooking Barley Tip

Always make sure you rinse your barley grains well before cooking to remove dirt, debris, and excess starch. 

closeup: peach and barley salad with grilled halloumi, pomegranate, and fresh herbs on a blue plate

How to Make Peach and Barley Salad

  1. Boil the Barley. Place a saucepan over high heat along with the water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, add the barley, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. 
  2. Slice the Cheese. Slice the halloumi cheese into 6 strips and use a paper towel to pat them dry. Place a skillet over medium heat along with the oil. 
  3. Brown the Cheese. Add the cheese slices to the pan with the oil in a single layer. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, getting both sides a nice golden brown. Remove from the pan, slice each piece of halloumi into 6 smaller pieces, and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate. 
  4. Make the Dressing. Combine the mustard, lemon juice (no zest yet), honey, salt, black pepper, and half the shallots in a bowl. Use an immersion blender or a whisk to mix and emulsify. Set aside. 
  5. Combine All Ingredients. Transfer the drained barley to a large bowl along with the halloumi cheese, parsley, peaches, lemon zest, and the rest of the shallots. Pour the dressing over the top and mix well to combine and coat all ingredients. 
  6. Serve. Dish up your barley salad right away with a handful of pomegranate arils tossed on top. It is also delicious after being chilled in the refrigerator for about an hour.
extreme closeup: peach and barley salad with pomegranate and fresh herbs

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Way To Cook Barley?

Cooking barley for recipes like this barley salad is fairly straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind. 

You’ll want to bring the barley to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Be sure to check the barley periodically to ensure it isn’t overcooking. Overcooked barley will turn to mush and ruin the entire dish. 

Another way to get the best texture is to use the right amount of water. Recipes vary slightly but usually call for between 2-3 cups of water per 1 cup of barley. 

There are several different options when it comes to barley varieties, so look closely at the package and be sure you are buying the right type. This barley salad recipe uses pearled barley, which I find the easiest to work with. Read more about how to cook barley here.

What Do You Eat Barley Salad With?

Barley salad makes an excellent snack, side dish, or light vegetarian lunch. It is light and refreshing while being hearty and filling. Here are just a few of my favorite recipes to serve this barley salad recipe with: 

Marinated Tahini Chicken
Baked Greek Yogurt Chicken
Greek Shrimp Saganaki
Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon
Shashlik (Pork Shish Kabobs)

What Is The Difference Between Barley and Pearl Barley?

Pearled, or pearl barley, is barley that has had the outer husk and bran removed. This translates into a quicker cooking grain with a mild flavor and soft texture. This barley salad recipe wouldn’t be the same without it!

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Peach and Barley Salad with Halloumi

5 from 1 vote
Peach and Barley Salad with Halloumi cheese is a bright, refreshing salad featuring fresh herbs and juicy peaches in a tangy vinaigrette.
Servings: 8
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups pearled barley
  • 3 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz halloumi cheese
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 4 peaches cubed (or nectarines)
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils seeds



  • Bring water and teaspoon of salt to the boil, add barley. Turn heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
  • Cut the halloumi cheese into 6 strips. Pat dry with paper towel. In a skillet over medium heat add the oil and heat, then add the halloumi in a single layer. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and cut into 6 pieces per strip. Set aside on paper towel lined plate.
  • In a bowl mix together half of the shallots, mustard, lemon juice only, honey, salt and black pepper. Whisk to emulsify or use an immersion blender. Set aside.
  • Drain barley and transfer to large bowl. Add the halloumi cheese, parsley, remaining shallots, lemon zest, peaches. Pour salad dressing over and toss to mix well. Serve warm topped with pomegranate or chill for an hour if desired.


Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 644mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 713IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 258mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: salads
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): peach & barley salad with grilled halloumi


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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