Sardine and Barley Grain Bowl

This is a light but satisfying dish to be enjoyed in the heat of summer (when I don’t feel like cooking) or as a modest, meatless meal during Lent.

I like barley because it is a wonderfully versatile grain with a nut-like flavor and a chewy texture. A cereal grain (member of the grass family), barley is a very good source of dietary fiber, manganese, which aids in the absorption of calcium and selenium, a necessary nutrient for immune function.

Sardines are a nutritional powerhouse! They are loaded with essential omega-3 fatty acids. Ounce for ounce, sardines provide more calcium and phosphorous than milk, more iron than spinach, more potassium than bananas and coconut water and as much protein as steak.

If you have never eaten sardines and not sure if you will like them, give this recipe a try. The sardines are whole, meaty and not at all fishy. (I use canned Wild Planet). These oily-rich, small, silvery, saltwater fish, (named after the Italian island, Sardinia), are happy with any citrus. I used tangerines, as well as my citrus vinaigrette. Tomatoes and Persian cucumbers (which have no seeds and do not need peeling) balance out the dish.


  • Barley (or grain of your choice), cooked
  • Canned sardines
  • Tomatoes
  • Persian cucumbers
  • Tangerines
  • Citrus Vinaigrette

To serve, arrange ingredients in a shallow bowl and generously drizzle with citrus vinaigrette.

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