This vibrant Pomegranate Barley Salad is so simple to prepare and tastes like a million bucks. So refreshing!
Everything about this barley salad recipe screams fresh, brilliant, and delicious! Barley is the perfect addition and pairs beautifully with the dill, parsley, mint, pomegranate seeds, garlic, and spices.
I could pretty much eat this salad once a week and never grow tired of it. If you love to eat salads, you should also try out my Chopped Veggie Salad with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette; it’s unforgettable.
Ingredients for this Barley Salad
For a complete list of ingredients, see the printable recipe card below.
- Pearl Barley - High in fiber and lots of nutrients, it’s a beautiful addition to many recipes. Each serving has iron, vitamin B6, potassium, zinc, and so much more!
- Celery - I like to dice it reasonably small, so it’s easy to eat. Feel free to add extra if you are a celery fan.
- Homemade Dressing - For the dressing, I like to use a combination of olive oil, sherry vinegar, allspice, salt, and pepper. It’s tangy and adds some extra pizzazz to the pomegranate salad.
- Garlic - I usually stick to around two cloves of minced garlic, but you can certainly add in more if you want when making the barley salad. Go wild!
- Herbs - Adding herbs gives the dish tons and tons of flavor. Dill, parsley, and mint are so fantastic together, so it just makes sense to include them.
- Pomegranate Seeds - You can purchase the seeds or the whole fruit and take the seeds out. Buying them is going to save you a step, and I use this sometimes when I am in a huge hurry.
Cooking Pearl Barley
It’s pretty easy to make, but I wanted to point out a few things before you get started so it turns out good every time.
It really doesn’t matter what dish you are making; you should always rinse it with cool water. This will ensure that there isn’t any leftover debris or dust from when it was harvested.
2. Consider what you are using.
There are several different varieties, so you should be mindful of what you are looking for when shopping. The reason why I recommend using pearl is that it’s been processed so that the out layer and hull have been removed. This is ideal for cooking and adding to recipes.
3. Don’t let it get mushy!
Trust me on this one. If it gets mushy, you are likely to lose interest really fast. When adding water to the pot, it’s essential to use 2 cups of water per 1 cup of barley. This will prevent it from absorbing too much and getting sticky. Another important step is to not let it cook too long. You can do a quick taste test when it’s about done, so you know if it’s the right texture or not.
How To Make Pomegranate Barley Salad
1. Prepare the dressing.
Combine the olive oil, sherry vinegar, allspice, salt, and pepper in a bowl using a whisk. Set aside so the flavors can develop properly.
2. Cook the barley.
Cook in a saucepan along with salted water. Bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Drain off the liquid and place it in a bowl.
3. Add the dressing.
Drizzle with dressing and stir to coat well. Let it cool down to room temperature.
4. Mix in the rest of the ingredients.
Add the fresh herbs, celery, salt, and pepper to the barley salad.
This barley salad is super versatile and can be served at room temperature or cold. It will last in the refrigerator in a sealed container for 2-3 days. It’s fantastic if you like to meal prep or plan and have meals to grab and eat quickly. It's goes fantastic with chicken and fish, too!
Pomegranate Barley Salad
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 6 celery stalks diced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ tsp ground allspice heaping
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp fresh dill chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh mint chopped
- 1 ½ cups pomegranate seeds (See Note 1)
- In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, allspice, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Rinse barley with cold water several times until water runs clear.
- Transfer to saucepan filled with heavily salted water. Bring to a boil and turn to simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large salad bowl.
- While barley is hot, add the dressing, toss to coat and mix thoroughly. Allow to cool at room temperature.
- Add the celery, herbs and pomegranate seeds. Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve room temperature or chilled if you prefer.
- You can either use the seeds from 2 pomegranates or purchase just the seeds. I find 4 or 8 oz containers from the brand Pom Pom in my market in the refrigerated vegetable/fruit section of the market. Purchase at least 2 for 1 ½ cups. Save remaining for other use.
- Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.