This Barley Pea Pesto Salad with Grana Padano and Prosciutto is always a crowd-pleaser – It's ready in a blink and makes such an impressive dish to share!
Packed with tons of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, I love using pearl barley in my cooking, it's such a fabulous grain.
It's super cheap, easy to find, and keeps you full for longer. All the good reasons to give this salad a try!
This Barley Pea Pesto Salad comes together in less than 30 minutes and only requires a bunch of ingredients:
- cooked pearl barley
- homemade pea pesto
- rocket leaves
- Grana Padano cheese
- Prosciutto di San Daniele
**This post is sponsored by Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele. All opinions are my own**
Delicious Pea Pesto
I'm completely obsessed with pea pesto lately, it's just so tasty and easy to make.
All you need is very simple ingredients to make it: garlic, peas, lemon zest, pine nuts and good extra-virgin olive oil.
It's refreshing, with a sweet & tangy aroma, and it really takes only 5 minutes to put together.
Basically, you trow everything in a food processor and mix until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste and you're done.
The pea pesto ingredients are enough to make a big pot of pea pesto.
You can add as much as you like to the salad and store the remaining pesto in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Pea pesto is a fantastic addition to this salad, but it also works amazingly well with pasta, and you can also serve it a side with grilled fish or meat.
I make it every week, and I love it so much I even included it my latest cookbook! Give it a try, I'm sure you'll absolutely love it.
Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele
Being the proud Italian that I am, even though I go local as much as possible, there are few Italian ingredients I could never live without.
Grana Padano cheese and Prosciutto di San Daniele are definitely two of them.
One of the key ingredients in Italian cuisine, Grana Padano has a bold but not overpowering taste, it's umami-rich and complements any kind of savoury meal.
My favourite way to eat it is definitely shaved in refreshing salads such as this Barley with Pea Pesto Salad.
Prosciutto di San Daniele is also a lovely addition to this vibrant barley salad.
If you have tried it before, you know that it's not like any other dry-cured ham.
It has a distinctive salty, gamey taste and a uniquely sweet after-taste.
Both Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele carry the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin ), which is a guarantee of origin, authenticity and quality of the best products in the European Union.
Build the salad
Back to this awesome Barley with Pea Pesto Salad, did I say it's super easy to make?
All you have to do is mixing the barley with the pea pesto, add in some rocket leaves, Grana Padano shavings and few slices of Prosciutto di San Daniele, and you're good to go.
For even more flavour, you can also add in some roasted nuts, such as hazelnuts and almonds.
You can also add some extra toppings if you like. I LOVE adding a couple of soft-boiled eggs to make this salad even more special.
Perfect for a light protein-packed lunch, picnic or easy fuss-free dinner, once you try this refreshing Italian salad you'll want to make it over and over again!
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook! Looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!
Barley Pea Pesto Salad with Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele
- 250 gr pearl barley rinsed
- 80 gr Grana Padano cheese shaved
- 5-6 slices of Prosciutto di San Daniele
- 100 gr rocket leaves
For the Pea Pesto:
- 400 gr boiled peas
- zest of 1 lemon preferably organic
- 2 garlic cloves
- 70 gr pine nuts
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper
- Boil the barley for about 15-20 mins in a pot of lightly salted water until tender, but still al dente.
- Transfer into a colander and cool under fresh running water, then drain well.
- In the meantime, prepare the pea pesto. In a food processor add cooked peas, lemon zest, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Blend until smooth for about 1 minute, scraping down the edges with a spatula half-way through.
- In a large salad bowl mix together cooked pearl barley with 2/3 of the pesto (store the remaining pesto for another day).
- Add in rocket leaves and Grana Padano shavings and give it a nice mix.
- With the help of your hands roll each slice of Prosciutto di San Daniele into the shape of a rose, and place on top of the salad.
- Add some optional freshly cracked black pepper and serve immediately.
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.
This post was originally posted in August 2017 and updated with more info.