Pearl Barley and Pesto Salad

I am addicted to barley, it is soooo SQUISHY. This salad is great because you can serve it as a warm, filling comfort food during cold weather, or as a refreshing salad during the summer! 🌞


Time taken: 40 mins, most of which is boiling time, plus several hours chilling

Approximate cost: $12

Will serve: 4 people as a side

Contains: A fair amount of both protein and iron, plus a big boost of vitamins, a tonne of fibre and some magnesium!


1 cup pearl barley
4 cups water
1 cup vegan pesto
2-3 handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn
1/4 cup fresh mint, torn
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste


Combine barley and water in a medium-sized saucepan on the stove, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 35 minutes or until tender.
During this time, toast pine nuts in the oven at 180*C until golden. Remove and cool.

Once barley is cooked, drain and return to saucepan. Add spinach and stir through until wilted. Add all other ingredients, reserving a little basil, and stir through until well-combined.

Serve salad hot, or chill for several hours before serving. Top with the remaining basil and some cracked pepper 👌


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