I featured watermelon in this recipe just last week. I wouldn’t normally showcase it again so soon, but this salad was SO good…I had to share!

The inspiration for my Black Barley, Purslane and Watermelon Salad was this Tabbouleh with Watermelon which appears in the July issue of Martha Stewart Living. I am a huge tabbouleh fan, and loved the idea of casting watermelon in a role that’s traditionally given to tomatoes.

Tabbouleh is usually made with bulgur wheat but I generally use gluten-free amaranth, millet, or quinoa in its place when I prepare it. In this salad, I tried out a grain that’s new to me: black barley. Black barley isn’t gluten-free, but it’s high in antioxidants, fiber, and protein. I like it’s hearty flavor and it’s interesting chewy texture (it really is quite chewy, which I like because it forces you take your time while you eat it).

If you eat gluten-free, switch out the barley for one of gluten free substitutes I mentioned above. Another option would be to use your favorite variety of rice. Make sure to cook whichever grain or seed you use according to its specific directions because the amount of water required and the cooking time will vary with each one.

I used parsley and basil from my herb garden here, plus I added some purslane (which grows all over my property). Purslane is considered a weed, but it’s so nutritious that I treat it like a plant I’d grow on purpose. It’s high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids so if it grows in your garden, you should consider yourself lucky and make use of it in your food. It takes a bit of work to pluck the leaves off the stems, but I enjoy them in green smoothies, and add them to salads like this one, and this one. If you don’t have a garden, you might be able to find purslane at your Farmer’s Market.

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Related Recipes:

My Amaranth Tabouli
My Winter Citrus Millet Taboulleh


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  1. 1

    kate — July 6, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

    Thanks Winnie! Now I know what to do with all that purslane overtaking my yard + gardens :)
    I’m a big tabbouleh fan also…so, I will be sure to try this out!

  2. 2

    Winnie — July 7, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

    Purslane is awesome…so nutritious!

  3. 3

    sarah, simply cooked — July 6, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    Beautiful pictures, Winnie. Sigh, I wish I had a back yard.

  4. 4

    Winnie — July 7, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

    Thank you :)

  5. 5

    purabi naha — July 6, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

    This looks really delicious…worth giving a try. You have a great blog and a great sense of photography. Do visit my blog for unique Asian (especially Indian) recipes! Happy blogging!!

  6. 6

    Winnie — July 7, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for the sweet comments :)

  7. 7

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — July 7, 2011 @ 2:29 am

    Perfect! Another great way to eat watermelon, which I have been enjoying so much recently.

  8. 8

    Winnie — July 7, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

    I am loving it all sorts of ways, too!

  9. 9

    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — July 7, 2011 @ 7:03 am

    That blue board that you are shooting on is fantastic! And this salad looks great! :)

  10. 10

    Winnie — July 7, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

    Thanks Lindsay…for both nice comments!

  11. 11

    Yaelian — July 7, 2011 @ 7:15 am

    What a lovely salad;I really love purslane!

  12. 12

    Winnie — July 7, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

    Purslane is great, right?!

  13. 13

    megan @ whatmegansmaking — July 7, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    I love the idea of watermelon in a salad! This looks so good :)

  14. 14

    Winnie — July 7, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

    Thanks Megan- I also made a version with quinoa, and liked it just as much, if not more!

  15. 15

    Lynda - TasteFood — July 7, 2011 @ 8:05 am

    How pretty – black barley is new to me too, and I like it’s dark notes.

  16. 16

    Winnie — July 7, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

    Thanks Lynda- did you find it to be pretty chewy? I am wondering if it would have been less so if I’d cooked it more. Or soaked it before cooking…

  17. 17

    Kalyn — July 7, 2011 @ 8:59 am

    I haven’t seen black barley, but now I really want to try it! (And I have plenty of purslane; just need to stop weeding the garden and it will pop up!)

  18. 18

    Winnie — July 7, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

    I love purslane- really love it!

  19. 19

    Once Upon A Lens — July 7, 2011 @ 9:46 am

    Love your Anthropologie bowl! I saw that one on their site and fell in love! It’s so pretty!

  20. 20

    Winnie — July 7, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

    I bought the set there over the weekend. Couldn’t resist!

  21. 21

    Kathryn — July 7, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    I actually just learned about purslane last week, after never having heard of it before! This looks super tasty; I haven’t tried watermelon in a salad before, but I love mixing sweet and savory. Yum!

  22. 22

    Winnie — July 7, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    Do find yourself some purslane…it’s so healthy. Also, watermelon in salads is great!

  23. 23

    Georgia Pellegrini — July 7, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    I adore purslane. I’ve been looking for some lately to make a salad out of. My grandmother is always asking me to fetch some because it has so much vitamin C.

  24. 24

    Winnie — July 7, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

    Thanks so much for stopping by Georgia…I love your recipes ;) ps your grandma is a very smart woman!

  25. 25

    Monet — July 7, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

    Smile. You are always inspiring me. I have half of a watermelon in the fridge but I would have NEVER thought to use it in such a great way. Thank you for sharing this with me. I’m so eager now to get my hands on some barley.

  26. 26

    Winnie — July 7, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    Aw, Monet. I love your comments so much. I made this salad again today with quinoa…was just as good, or better!

  27. 27

    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — July 9, 2011 @ 12:04 am

    An absolutely stunning salad Winnie. Never had purslane – need to fix that soon!

  28. 28

    Winnie — July 13, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    Hi Mardi,
    Yes do give it a try. It’s remarkably nutritious!

  29. 29

    Lisa (This Little Piggy) — July 9, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    Glad I found your blog. Beautiful photography! I just made a purslane salad last week – it was really good.

  30. 30

    Winnie — July 13, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    Thanks Lisa- LOVE purslane!

  31. 31

    Sonja — July 13, 2011 @ 10:07 am

    I love those bowls, can you let me know where you got them from? Would love to have them in my kitchen, thank you…………also never had any purslane, will look for it

  32. 32

    Winnie — July 13, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    Hi Sonja,
    I purchased the bowls from Anthropologie in NYC :)

  33. 33

    Sonja — July 13, 2011 @ 11:46 am

    Thank you Winnie for replying so promptly, I am from Vancouver/Can and new Anthropologie store opened here in May’11, so I have called them and put those beautifull bowls on hold!!!! Thank you again, happy creating……..

  34. 34

    Winnie — July 13, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

    Lucky you…I love Vancouver :) Enjoy your new bowls!

  35. 35

    Sonja — July 14, 2011 @ 9:34 am

    Hi Winnie….well, today I do not like Vancouver – raining since yesterday, dark, cold & wet…………..but luckily I have bought those lovely bowls, thank you for the inspiration and info, need colour and joy in my “Vancouver” day…

  36. 36

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