Barley Corn Salad
4 from 2 votes

This barley corn salad is perfect for late summer, when corn is sweet and fresh! The corn is roasted with radicchio for a perfect mix of sweet and bitter flavors. The whole grain salad is topped with a syrupy balsamic reduction.

I’ve got about fifteen minutes remaining on this study break, and I’m afraid that such a small window of time won’t allow me to do justice to this flavorful, summery roasted barley, corn, and radicchio salad with balsamic reduction. Still, in not too many words, I’ll try to convey how tasty it is, how rewarding the chewy texture and the almost-caramelized veggies.

Barley is a grain that I don’t cook often, but it’s really fun to work with. It’s the texture–the plump, chewy grains–that make it so distinctive and good. It also has an earthy flavor, and I love how that flavor contrasts i this salad with sweet corn and slightly bitter radicchio.

If you haven’t tried roasting radicchio before, I know that it can feel like an odd idea. But I promise that the results are really great. Roasting brings out some sweetness in an otherwise bitter vegetable, and cherry tomatoes add both color and acid. Balsamic vinegar complements all of the flavors here, sour and sweet, and it’s an easy way to dress up the veggies and grains.

4 from 2 votes

Roasted Barley, Corn, and Raddichio Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 cup pearl barley (dry)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 head radicchio, sliced into thick ribbons (about 3-4 cups total)
  • 2 1/4 cups corn kernels (about 3 ears corn)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil


  • Cook the barley according to package instructions (it should take 30-45 minutes).
  • While the barley simmers, preheat your oven to 400F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or foil. Place the radicchio and corn on one sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix with your hands to coat the vegetables. On the other sheet, place the cherry tomatoes, halved side up. Drizzle them with the remaining tablespoon olive oil and give them a pinch of salt and pepper, too. Place the vegetables in the oven. After about 10 minutes, give the corn and radicchio a stir. After 20 minutes–or when the radicchio and corn are turning golden and the tomatoes are soft–remove all vegetables from the oven.
  • While the vegetables roast, place the vinegar and maple syrup or sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until the vinegar has thickened and has the consistency of a loose syrup.
  • Place the cooked barley and roasted vegetables in a mixing bowl. Add the balsamic glaze. Toss the ingredients to combine. Add the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.


Salad leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Look at all that bright, fresh corn, and those gooey cherry tomatoes!

This recipe really highlights what a little roasting can do. The salad demands little more seasoning than salt and pepper, but it’s because the tomatoes and radicchio contribute a wonderful sweetness to the dish. To add anything else to this recipe would actually diminish it’s beauty: that’s the essence of really great, simple food.

Hope you enjoy this salad–especially when summer produce is at its peak. Let me know what you think!


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Categories: Recipes, Main Dishes, Salads, Vegan Basics
Dietary Preferences: No Oil, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Late to the party but saw this on your IG this week and used it for inspiration to use up some items in the fridge. I used spelt as the base, just roasted corn and cherry tomatoes, and added a bit of mint and a lot of arugula, along with the balsamic reduction. Also added feta and a poached egg and it was divine!

  2. Wow. Props to you…13 minutes?! That is champion status, Gena. Your dish looks amazing, per usual. Good luck with your studying! Maybe the Orgo force be with you. 😉

  3. I love when you give your recipes fancy names like “balsamic reduction” (even if that’s what it is), because when I make them it sounds impressive when I brag to my boyfriend about my dinner. Roasting vegetables is so comforting at this time of year.

  4. Outstanding post! And, in 13 minutes… it’s hard to get much of anything worthwhile done in 13 minutes— guess that makes you the 13 minute expert! 🙂

    I only wish there was a grocery store next door so we could have this for lunch tomorrow. Looks delicious! Will try soon and report back! 🙂

  5. Looks wonderful! I’m in love with roasting, especially now that the weather is starting to cool.
    Happy studying!

  6. I love the addition of the fresh corn and balsamic reduction. Simple and delicious!

    As a fairly new blogger, I have no idea how you wrote that post in just over 13 minutes. I’m still learning and very slow!

  7. I’ve been on a barley salad kick and also have some palm sugar coming to me in the mail. I’m excited to try it (for the first time ever) with this recipe! What a nice and simple post. I wish I could do that in 13 minutes!

  8. Sounds delectable–and I imagine for us gluten free folks it would be great with wild rice too!

    I’m so in accord with the thirteen-minute blog post allocation! I’m getting ready to write a post in a similar push timeframe–it’s the way to get it done, some days.

    Good luck with all the study

  9. I have found that I want to roast and bake more of my veggies lately as it gets colder and colder. I still love a hefty raw salad during the week but have been drawn to turning on my oven to bake the winter squash, carrots and beets I’ve been getting in my farm-share.
    I can still find local corn and raddichio at the town market. I think this recipe could even be morphed into a savory breakfast option.
    Thanks for the inspiration Gena!

  10. i’ve had a recipe similar to this i’ve been wanting to try. this looks great and i love the addition of radicchio

  11. I totally have to try this – I am not a radicchio fan, but then, I’ve never tried roasting it. I love barley though so this recipe seems right up my alley. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. oh yum- i love balsamic reduction but i happen to never get the taste absolutely right. Barley salads are amongst my favourites, i love the chewiness! Since I am in India I am totally into Indian flavours and spices and make my barley salads with roasted (or stir fried w coconut oil) carrots, cumin, chili, coriander and mung bean sprouts. delicious!

  13. Oh my goodness, does this look delicious! It combines three of my favorite foods: sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar. My last radicchio endeavor was overpoweringly bitter, but perhaps the chicory flavor would mellow in this recipe. I hope I can still get corn at the farmers market–only one stand offered it up last week! Fingers crossed.

  14. Everyone seems to adore roasted radicchio – something wonderful must happen in the oven or on the grill! I still haven’t tried it yet, but this seems like a wonderful combo 🙂

  15. Good! My work days are much longer these days so I am always looking for quick and tasty recipes. I will give this one a try as soon as I locate some raddichio.

  16. Wow! So much flavour for only fifteen minutes! This looks amazing and I think My Baby Sister would die eating this. It is so true that roasting does amazing things to food. Whenever I cook for My Love and Baby Sister, if I can roast something, I will do it! I wish you much love and luck with your studies!!

  17. I am actually shocked you got that up in 13-15 minutes. You are a speedy blogger!

    Barley..haven’t had it in ages, but I love it. And that balsamic reduction is right up my alley. So is that tablecloth/napkin in the first picture. Very pretty…I dig it!

    Good luck with the studying, Gena 🙂