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Barley Salad with Pomegranate Sauce

Barley Salad with Pomegranate Sauce

Inspired by Mediterranean flavours, this tasty Barley Salad with Pomegranate Sauce is filled with crunchy pumpkin seeds, salty feta, silky sweet pomegranate molasses, cilantro, golden raisins and warm Mediterranean spices. Not to mention that it is a super quick healthy vegetarian side dish, that’s easily adaptable and highly addictive! Pair it with lamb, chicken or crispy tofu, for the ultimate weeknight dinner.

Barley Salad with Pomegranate Sauce


  • Pearl Barley - In our opinion, barley is such an underused grain. It’s healthy, high in fibre and many other nutrients, like iron, zinc and vitamin B6. If you are gluten-free, feel free to swap it for rice or quinoa instead.
  • Olive oil - essential to make the deliciously sweet pomegranate sauce. It’s best to use extra-virgin olive oil, but whatever you have on hand will also work
  • Pomegranate Molasses - Pomegranate molasses is an uniquely delicious ingredient made with fresh pomegranate juice and medjool dates reduced down to concentrate. The rich flavour is so perfect in dressings and sauces!
  • Brown Sugar - used to sweeten up the pomegranate sauce.
  • Salt and Pepper - add extra flavour to the salad
  • Spices - The two spices used in this recipe are cumin and paprika. Cumin adds an earthy warmth to the dish, while paprika adds a smokey touch. 
  • Lime Juice - needed for some acidity.
  • Fresh Cilantro - adding fresh herbs will give this salad extra flavour. If you prefer parsley to cilantro, feel free to use that instead.
  • Golden Raisins - raisins balance out the crunchy pumpkin seeds and salty cheese with a touch of juicy sweetness.
  • Toasted Pumpkin Seeds - provides the best crunch.
  • Feta Cheese - You can substitute feta for other crumbly white cheeses like goat cheese or make this salad vegan by eliminating it.
  • Pomegranate Seeds - pomegranate seeds are in season during the late fall, winter months. They add more than just a bright red colour to recipes. They are sweet, juicy seeds that are also high in antioxidants, potassium and fibre!

Barley Salad with Pomegranate Sauce

How to Make Barley Salad with Pomegranate Sauce

  1. Prepare the Barley. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add barley and 2 tsp salt, return to boil and cook until tender, about 45 minutes, or according to package instructions. Drain barley, and let cool completely for about 15 minutes. 
  2. Mix Together the Sauce. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, pomegranate molasses, brown sugar, cumin, paprika, pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt.
  3. Prepare the Salad. In a large bowl, add the barley, lime juice, cilantro, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and pomegranate seeds.
  4. Add the Dressing. Pour the pomegranate sauce and gently toss to combine. 
  5. Finish with Toppings. Sprinkle with feta cheese cubes, drizzle with extra oil, and serve.

Barley Salad with Pomegranate Sauce

Storage Information

This Barley Salad is so easy to store and can be made ahead of time, as well. You can make it up to 24 hours in advance without it getting soggy. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

Barley Salad with Pomegranate Sauce

Serving Suggestions

This salad is an absolutely delicious vegetarian dish on its own for lunch or a light dinner. But you can also pair it with a protein to make a more well-balanced plate. Rotisserie chicken, grilled salmon, crispy tofu or lamb kebabs would pair perfectly with this salad.


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