This recipe features the classic flavor profile of Greek cuisine. Olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano, which are used in the marinade for the flank steak, are featured in savory dishes throughout Greece. Barley is commonly used in Greek baked goods like barley rusks; here it gives a chewy, satisfying base for this hearty bowl. This recipe also features Skordalia, a creamy sauce made with potatoes, bread, and almonds (or walnuts) and finished with lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Red onions, kalamata olives, and feta cheese complete the classic Greek flavor profile.

For the Beef 

1 lb. Flank Steak, trimmed of all visible fat and sliced into 1/4-inch x 3-inch strips
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced (about 2 teaspoons zest and 2 tablespoons juice)3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients in a gallon size plastic zip lock bag. Seal tightly, shake to fully coat meat with marinade, and place in refrigerator to marinate for 4 to 24 hours.

For the Barley (Makes 3 cups)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup diced yellow onions
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 garlic glove, peeled and minced
1 cup barley
2 ½ cups water

  1. In a stainless-steel pot with a lid, heat the olive oil, onions, and salt over medium heat. Sweat the onions until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add in the chopped garlic, stir, and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Mix in the barley and stir to combine with the onion and garlic mixture.
  4. Pour in the water, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 40 to 50 minutes, until the barley has softened, and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Set aside until ready to prepare the bowls. If preparing the barley in advance, store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to make the bowls.

For the Skordalia (Makes 2 cups)

1 cup Yukon Gold potato, diced into ½-inch cubes
½ cup or more reserved potato cooking water
1 slice white bread (any kind but 1 oz. is all you need)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
½ cup dry roasted unsalted whole almonds or walnuts, toasted
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Fill a small pot with water, add the diced potato, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.  
  2. Combine the cooked potatoes, ½ cup potato cooking water, and all other ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add more potato cooking water to thin to desired consistency.
  3. If you want to make the sauce in advance, you can store it in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week. It will taste best if served at room temperature.

For the Finished Bowls (Makes 6 bowls)

1 recipe (3 cups) cooked barley
1 English cucumber, ends trimmed, halved, and thinly sliced
1-15 oz. can Great Northern or navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup lima beans, frozen and microwaved for 3 minutes
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
¼ cup red onion, minced
1 recipe marinated beef, ready to cook
1 recipe (2 cups) Skordalia
2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

  1. Set out six shallow bowls and add ½ cup cooked barley to each bowl.
  2. Divide the sliced cucumber among the six bowls, placing the cucumber slices at 12 o’clock.
  3. Continue in a clockwise motion dividing and placing the navy beans, tomatoes, and lima beans in the six bowls.
  4. Place a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat and sear the marinated beef for about 4 minutes total. Stir minimally during cooking to get a good sear on the beef.
  5. Divide the beef among the six bowls and top each bowl with 1/3 cup of Skordalia.
  6. Garnish each bowl with olives, red onions, and feta cheese.
Number of Servings 6
Serving Size 1 bowl
Calories Per Serving 660
Total Fat (g) 31
Saturated Fat (g) 6.5
Trans Fat (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 45
Sodium (mg) 855
Total Carbohydrate (g) 66
Dietary Fiber (g) 14
Sugars (g) 5
Added Sugars (g) 0
Protein (g) 33
Vitamin D (mcg) 0.09
Calcium (mg) 160
Iron (mg) 5.8
Potassium (mg) 1120