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Salatu Niebé ak Barley <span>Senegalese Black-Eyed pea Salad</span>

August 13, 2020

Salatu Niebé ak Barley

senegalese black-eyed pea salad with barley

  • Prep: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Servings: 6
  • July 9, 2024
  • The original cowboy caviar, but better – with more flavor, flair, depth, and pizazz! It is light, vibrant, protein and fibre packed – thanks to the addition of pearled barley for good measure. Great for feeding crowds as it can be made ahead of time, keeps, and travels well. Serve as an appetizer or perfect side dish. The vianaigrette is extremely versatile and can be used seamlessly in many other recipes.


    Watch recipe video here!



    • ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • ¾ cup fresh lime juice with pulp (no exceptions)
    • ¼ cup Dijon mustard (we love the one sold at Trader Joe’s)
    • 1½ Tbsp. smoked paprika
    • ¼ cup honey or sugar
    • 6 medium shallots or 1 xtra-large red onion finely sliced (don’t skimp)
    • ¼ – 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
    • 1 Tbsp salt (may sound like a lot, but is needed to balance the acid and sugar)
    • 2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)


    • 1 medium red or orange bell pepper finely diced
    • 1 large English cucumber or zucchini finely diced
    • 4-5 cups cooked black-eyed peas lightly salted (2 cups dry)
    • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
    • 8 oz. whole teeny tiny tomatoes
    • 3-4 avocados, sliced or diced


    • 1½ cups pearled barley
    • 3 cups water
    • 1 Tbsp coconut oil or any other oil
    • ½ tsp. turmeric
    • ¼ tsp salt


    1. Prepare the vinaigrette first by adding all the vinaigrette ingredients (except the onions/shallots) into a bowl; whisk vigorously until well blended and emulsified. Add the onion or shallots. Mix until the onions are coated, and everything is well combined. Allow it to sit out for an hour, do not refrigerate.

    2. In a medium pot, bring lightly salted water to a boil. Add turmeric, coconut oil and barley. Stir. Cook until all the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes.

    3. Immediately empty the cooked hot barley into a large bowl. While the barley is still hot (do not allow to cool), add one cup of the vinaigrette. Continuously toss and stir until the grains soak up and absorb the liquid, about 4-5 mins.

    4. Add black-eyed peas, cucumber or zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, shallots and parsley – add another ¾ -1cup of vinaigrette and continue tossing and stirring together until very well combined.

    5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Very important. This allows the narley and vegetables to absob the flavors and meld together.

    6. Serve on a bed of leafy greens. Top with avocados just before serving. Drizzle some of the remaining vinaigrette on top of the avocado. Great with grilled salmon or shrimp.

    Recipe Notes

    • Only freshly squeezed lime juice is recommended for this recipe. We do not recommend bottled lime juice.

    • Barley really elevates this dish – replace it with farro, bulgar, etc. if desired.

    • Vinaigrette can be made ahead. Will keep in fridge for 6 months. Separation occurs naturally, whisk vigorously before each use.

    • Best enjoyed at room temp. Warm in microwave for 10-15 second intervals to bring back to room temperature.

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